Breeding season: How did it go for AI companies?

On many farms, the 2022 breeding season has drawn to a close, and early reports suggest that it has gone quite well.

As we head into August it is important to stop breeding, as continuing to breed cows into August will result in a longer calving season.

Later-calving cows are less profitable and require an increased workload, so it is important to pull the bull.

To get some insight into how the breeding season has gone, Agriland spoke with a number of artificial insemination (AI) companies.

Munster Cattle

Agriland spoke with John Tobin from Munster Bovine, who said that it has been a “good year” for the company.

“But we did see less farmers pre-ordering straw and more working off the panels,” he said.

“The most popular dairy sire for us was (IG) Doonmanagh Seville. Seville is a daughter-proven bull, with a 4% protein and has longevity in his pedigree.

“Farmers are looking for that high solids bull, with longevity with Seville fitting that bill.”

Some of the other popular dairy sires for Munster Bovine, this year, were:

  • Ballycarney Denman;
  • Bauravilla Pistol SRM;
  • Ballygowen Albert.

Regarding beef on dairy, Angus sires were the most popular choice among Munster Bovine customers.

Intelagri Matteo ET and Build Maverick ET were the most popular sires of choice.

John noted that usually, the top 10 bulls are dairy sires, but that this year two of the top five were the beef sires mentioned above.

This can be largely attributed to the 75% increase in sexed-semen use among Munster Bovine customers.

Proof

Agriland spoke with Niall Duffy from the Co. Tipperary-based AI company Dovea, to hear about its breeding season.

Commenting, Niall said: “Overall it has been a good year, with dairy sales up on last year.

“The most popular dairy sire this year was Glenaboy Ronaldcoming from a 4% protein cow.

“Farmers were really looking for bulls with good components and good maintenance figures.”

Some of the other popular bulls for Dovea this year were:

  • Ardallen Fergus;
  • Riverside Pivotal;
  • Ballintosig Mister Man;
  • Saintbrigid Frank Joseph.

According to Niall, the Norwegian red bulls on offer also sold quite well this year.

Regarding beef bulls used on dairy cows in 2022, Angus was the most popular choice among Dovea customers, with Kealkil Prime Lad the most popular bull sold for use on dairy cows.

Progressive Genetics

To get some insight how the 2022 breeding season has gone for Progressive Genetics, Agriland spoke with Ronan Mulligan from the Co. Kildare-based AI company.

Commenting on the breeding season, Ronan said: “Overall, the breeding season has gone very well for us.

“There was a massive uptake in sexed semen, with a 50% increase on last year.

“The biggest seller was Knockenright Chessmanwith farmers having a big focus on fat and protein rather then overall economic breeding index (EBI).”

Some of the other popular bulls for Progressive Genetics this year were:

  • Oakfarm Behins Zeus;
  • Amber Trabolgan;
  • Riverside Pivotal.

Stamullen Lunasa SRM was the most popular sexed bull for Progressive Genetics.

“Sexed semen conception rates appear to be quite, with farmers very happy with the results,” said Ronan.

“The weather and condition of cows also helped early during the breeding season.”

For beef sires, Angus was once again the biggest seller to dairy farmers.

The most popular sire used on dairy cows was Intelagri Matteo ETwith Ronan noting that 30,000 straws were used between January and June from this bull.

Other popular Angus sires were HW Farghal and Build Maverick ET.

Sales for other breeds of beef such as Hereford, Charolais and Limousin remained similar to last year. However, there was an increase in Belgian and British Blue sires being used.

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