Beef Breeding Programme
The National Cattle Breeding Centre (NCBC) runs the largest beef programme in Ireland, for Munster Bovine and Progressive Genetics domestically and Ireland Genetics (IG) Internationally.
The beef programme has two elements:
(i) Terminal which delivers proven bulls for profitable weanling and finishing systems
(ii) Maternal which delivers proven bulls to breed replacements for the suckler herd
Superior genomically tested sires are selected from performance recorded herds. One thousand doses of each bull is used the first year. Only sires with a high level of field fertility and acceptable level of calving ease are used in year two. Their progeny are performance
recorded on farm where weight gain, muscle development docility and functionality are assessed. 15-20 progeny are finished in Tully Performance Test Centre where performance, feed efficiency and methane production are recorded on live animals and meat eating quality is assessed at slaughter.
Carcass weight, conformation and fat cover are recorded on all progeny at slaughter.
The superior proven terminal sires excel in calving ease, docility, performance at both weaning and finishing stage, have superior carcass traits and early age at slaughter.
Superior genomically tested sires are selected from performance recorded herds. One thousand doses of each bull is used the first year, only sires with a high level of field fertility and acceptable level of calving ease are used in year two. In addition to the traits measured for the terminal programme, daughters fertility , calving ability and milk production are assessed.
The superior proven maternal sires have daughters with superior docility, fertility, calving ability and milk production. They wean superior heavier weanlings, last longer in the herd and have superior calving intervals. Daughters of NCBC proven maternal sires are highly profitable females.