RECENT weeks have seen a number of dairy stakeholder groups discussing the potential of switching to a components-based milk pricing system in Northern Ireland.
As a consequence, this issue will be a very ‘live’ talking point at the upcoming Winter Fair.
“We have been profiling the benefits of breeding for improved milk solids over many years,” confirmed Ai Services breeding services manager Ivan Minford.
“Ai Services has traditionally selected bulls that will deliver from both a butterfat and protein percentage-related improvement perspective.
“What’s more, the consistent use of these sires has shown that it is possible to maintain volumes while also improving milk constituents.”
Ivan went on to point out that, when it comes to improving milk solids, both feeding and breeding strategies must be considered in equal measure.
He added: “But the fundamental fact remains that an investment in proven genetics, courtesy of an AI straw, represents one of the smallest input costs incurred within a dairy farming business.
“Yet it has the potential to deliver the most significant impact on performance across the business as a whole.”
Ivan also confirmed that Ai Services is enjoying the busiest start to a breeding season in the company’s 33 year history.
“There is a tremendous demand for sexed semen at the present time,” he further explained.
Last month marked the launch of Ai Services’ 2022 Holstein catalogue. Semen from 90 per cent plus of the bulls listed within it is available in both conventional and sexed formats.
Ivan continued: “Dairy farmers across Northern Ireland are now happy to use sexed semen on both heifers and mature cows with total confidence.”
Ai Services will have a major presence at this year’s Winter Fair. The company’s team of advisors will be joined by Viking Genetics’ Joanne Cox, who will be on hand to discuss the benefits of cross breeding within a modern dairy farming scenario.
The event will also be used by Ai Services to profile a number of the bulls featuring in the current Holstein catalogue.
These include Rudy, a French bull with a +£774 PLI. He produces cows with excellent udders.
“Ruby is an impressive production sire with management traits to match. He is recommended as an easy calving,” Ivan commented.
Another young sire featuring within Ai Services’ Holstein lists for the first time is Pokemon. An integral part of the Peak breeding programme, he is an elite PLI sire with a current PLI value of +£790.
Ivan again: “Pokemon is proven to deliver +80.6 kilos combined of fat and protein. He has seven generations of VG and EX dams in his pedigree.
“His daughters are low maintenance and will have exceptionally high health traits.”
Tulare is another young bull very much in demand at the present time. His current PLI value stands at +£782.
“Tulare is a component and daughter health specialist,” Ivan explained.
“He is a lower stature bull with increased chest and body depth.”
He added: “Tulare can also be used to improve legs and feet. His daughters display great locomotion.”
Ai Services will be located on Stand EK 79 in the Eikon Centre.
Visitors will be made more
than welcome throughout the
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