Dairy farmers continue to invest in elite genetics

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Despite the current downturn in milk prices local dairy farmers are continuing to invest in high quality genetics, according to Ai Services’ breeding services manager Ivan Minford.

“Yes, producers want value for money,” he said. “But they fully realise that proven genetics will deliver for the long term benefit of their farming businesses.

“An investment in top blood lines will have a cumulative effect over a long number of years. And, of course, a straw of semen from an elite, proven bull represents a very small outlay compared with the overall cost of producing milk at the present time.”

Mr Minford confirmed that dairy farmers throughout Northern Ireland are investing in bulls that will deliver in terms of improved fertility, milk components and longevity.

“Increasing numbers of herdowners are now committed to using sexed semen from our top bulls on their best cows. The technology is now proven and farmers are willing to use it more often and with greater impact as part of their overall herd breeding programmes.”

The current breeding season has seen a number of new bulls gain greater prominence on dairy farms throughout Northern Ireland. These include Massey, Aftershock and Instead.”

Mr Minford continued: “Massey is one of the best daughter proven sires available,” confirmed the Ai Services’ breeding specialist.

“He has notched up tremendous farmer satisfaction with thousands of daughter in US herds.

“Massey is a total outcross for many Holstein dairy herds with excellent health traits, including longevity. Massey combines production with type.”

Aftershock is one of the new generation of genomically assessed bulls that features in Ai Services’ 2016 dairy sire catalogue.

“He was bred in the US and combines massive production with superb type,” confirmed Mr Minford.

“His modern pedigree will suit pedigree and commercial milk producers alike.

“Instead is an extremely exciting French-bred bull. He combines extreme components and good management traits. The bull will suit the farming systems that prevail here in Northern Ireland.”

For further information, telephone Ai Services on (028) 9083 3123.