Genus attracts Winter Fair crowds

Ervin McKinstry, Genus ABS chats to Andrew Megaw and son Joe from Hilltown on the Genus ABS stand at the RUAS Winter Fair. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Ervin McKinstry, Genus ABS chats to Andrew Megaw and son Joe from Hilltown on the Genus ABS stand at the RUAS Winter Fair. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

Special offers, an attractive prize draw, and Facebook competition results may have attracted crowds to the packed Genus ABS stand at the Winter Fair.

It was the serious discussions and information on herd genetics that encouraged those crowds to stay and engage in detailed debate.

Farmers were keen to discuss their priorities in the herd and get information on the sires that are most suited to meeting these requirements not only for the overall herd but also for individual cows within the herd.

Of course, Seagull Bay Silver, the market’s hottest commodity and the world’s number one GTPI sire, was a very big talking point as he is the source of the most profitable genetics in the world.

He has a huge 803 kgs of milk with +ve components. His sire stack is Mogul x Snowman x Planet x Shottle. He boasts a GTPI of + 2683; PLI £616; type merit +388 and 303 kgs of milk.

In advance of the Winter Fair Genus had organised a competition on Facebook whereby farmers were asked to select which two heifers from their herd they would chose to mate with Silver. From the avalanche of replies Connor Casey from the Carnhill herd at Gruig Lane, Cloughmills won the prize of two straws of Silver for his two selected heifers.

Connor’s chosen heifers are two Cash Coin full sisters from the De-Su family which is sought after worldwide. These are two of the highest genomic heifers in his herd and they are 14 and 21 in the UK PLI rankings.

Connor states that Silver has power, production, milk quality and health traits to add to any breeding programme and he is delighted to add these matings to his 150 cow herd which is currently producing 11,000 litres on three times a day milking.

Another very happy milk producer at the Winter Fair was David McNeice from Old Road, Newtownhamilton who won the prize draw of 50 units of Ballycairn Pello.

Heat detection and fertility were also constant topics and the use of Genus Breeder tags which have some unique features created a lot of discussion. The system has a sophisticated pedometer and data recording system providing accurate and timely data on cow activity. Uniquely, data is updated every six minutes, 24 hours a day and is transmitted wirelessly, removing the need for cows to pass by a data collection point. With a range of up to 2km the system is well suited for grazing cows and is also ideal for use on bulling heifers.

In addition to measuring activity, the pedometers collect extra information including step-count and lying time. Together these give a more accurate overall analysis of behaviour, and better determination of heat.

For further information on Genus sires and products contact your local Genus representative or the Genus ABS office on 028 3833 4426.