For the first time ever in Ireland, genomic proofs are now included in beef genetic indexes.
The results of genomic evaluations carried out on tissue samples taken by beef farmers are now included in beef €uro Star indexes.
Farmers can access the updated €uro-Star indexes for their animals on the ICBF animal search facility, and their online HerdPlus profiles.
Participants in the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) will receive an updated €uro-Star report by post , which will assist them with their breeding strategy and their compliance with the scheme.
Genomic proofs are available for any animal that has been genotyped, including cows, bulls and young stock. However, animals that farmers genotype tagged in the summer may not yet have genomic indexes, because genomic data was not available in time for this evaluation run.
For farmers who received the first batch of 2016 genotype tags and returned them straight away, these animals may have a genomic proof.
ICBF say €uro-Star reports will clearly show which animals have genomic proofs and which don’t.
€uro-Star indexes for animals genotyped in recent weeks, whose genomic proofs are not included in the current evaluation, will be updated following the December evaluation run.
ICBF sources say indexes will be more accurate on all genotyped animals, because genomic proofs have higher reliabilities. However, they point out that the increase in reliability will vary from animal to animal, depending on the amount of information known on the animal, and where its reliability was before genotyping.
An average figure is a 20% increase in reliability, but ICBF says this will vary.
While star rating cut-offs are likely to remain fairly similar to where they are at the moment, €uro-Star Index values for some animals will rise, and others will fall.
Farmers need to assess how genomics has affected their own animals individually.
Launching the incorporation of the genomic evaluations into the breeding indices developed by ICBF, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed said: “Today marks a significant milestone for Irish cattle breeding and indeed for the progress in the €300m BDGP scheme.
“I am delighted to launch these BDGP reports which will contain new genomic evaluations for those animals that have been genotyped as part of the BDGP scheme.”
The new evaluations, and individual farm reports, will assist BDGP participant in reaching required targets to have a certain number of four and five star rated breeding animals on the farm by certain deadlines.
ICBF CEO Sean Coughlan, said: “Genomic evaluations are another key tool which suckler farmers can use in order to maximise the profitability on their farms.
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