Pre­pare now for Oc­to­ber 31 BDGP re­quire­ments

Irish Examiner - Farming - - GENERAL FARMING -

For those par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Beef Data Ge­nomics Pro­gra mm e ( BD G P) , t h er e is a re­quire­ment that a per­cent­age of heifers/el­i­gi­ble suck­ler cows be geno­typed fe­males that are four or five stars on the re­place­ment in­dex (on a within-breed or on a cross­breed ba­sis) at the time of pur­chase ( for heifers brought into the herd) or at the time of geno­typ­ing ( for those re­place­ments bred within the herd). Where a non-geno­typed re­place­ment heifer is pur­chased, t h i s a n im a l m u s t be s ubs equently geno­typed and con­firme d f o u r o r f ive s tars o n th e re­place­ment in­dex (on a with­in­breed or an across-breed ba­sis) be­fore be­ing deemed el­i­gi­ble for the Pro­gramme.

This an­i­mal must be at least 16 months old, and born in 2013 or later.

The num­ber of heifers/el­i­gi­ble s u c k l e r co ws m e e ti n g t he se re­quire­ments on each hold­ing on Oc­to­ber 31, 2018 must be equiv­a­lent to 20% of the num­ber of your ref­er­ence an­i­mals.

So if you have a ref­er­ence num­ber of 20, you will need to have at least four heifers/el­i­gi­ble cows in place.

Heifers must be at least 16 months old on Oc­to­ber 31, but they do not have to be in calf on that date.

In or­der to check what po­si­tion your herd is in re­gard­ing four- star and five- star fe­males, look at the BDGP eli­gi­bil­ity re­port which the Irish Cat­tle Breed­ing Fed­er­a­tion (ICBF) is­sued re­cently, based on the lat­est eval­u­a­tion run.

This will give you some idea if you are on tar­get to meet the re­quire­ments come Oc­to­ber. Fur­ther eval­u­a­tion runs will hap­pen in May and Septem­ber, and you need to keep a close eye on th­ese.

New ge­nomic eval­u­a­tions, sale o f sto ck, and cu ll ing of cows, will all lead to con­tin­ual changes in what el­i­gi­ble an­i­mals you have avail­able.

If you an­tic­i­pate that you are go­ing to find it dif­fi­cult to meet the 20% re­quire­ment, you need to look at which of your 2017- born wean­ling heifers you could pos­si­bly geno­type, and that will be 16 months old by Oc­to­ber. Pick those that are pos­si­bly show­ing the po­ten­tial to be four or five stars, but are not cur­rently geno­typed.

The ICBF is likely to con­tact you in Fe­bru­ary in­di­cat­ing which an­i­mals will be geno­typed in 2018, and you will be given the op­por­tu­nity to nom­i­nate dif­fer­ent an­i­mals if you wish.

The other op­tion of course is that you may have to buy an­i­mals that are al­ready geno­typed four or five star.

Pic­ture: Dy­lan Vaughan

Tea­gasc staff at the re­cent Na­tional Tillage Con­fer­ence in Kilkenny: Rob Beat­tie, Joe Mul­hare, Pe­tra Kock-Ap­pel­gren, Lael Walsh, and Jer Em­met-Booth, Tea­gasc.

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