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The role of reproductive technologies in maximising your herd’s potential

Stephen Butler joins Emma-Louise Coffey on this week’s Dairy Edge podcast with an insight into the Sexed Technologies lab that will be established in Moorepark later this year to provide a semen sorting service open to all AI companies. This offers the potential for a greater number and elite bulls

Sexed semen in combination with high Dairy Beef Index bulls can help farmers produce sufficient high genetic merit dairy replacements while improving the carcass weight and conformation of surplus stock adding greater value to the beef farmer.

Stephen gave some insight into the In Vitro Embryo Production/Transfer experiment that was carried out in the spring of 2021. This involves collection of oocytes from either live donors or from ovaries collected after slaughter. The oocytes are fertilised and cultured in a lab for seven days before being transferred to a surrogate dam that has been synchronised to be on day seven of her oestrous cycle. Using this technology, an elite genetic merit dam can be scheduled to have oocytes collected weekly for several weeks.

This technology facilitates the dam moving from having one calf per year to having multiple calves per year, increasing the chances of producing a calf with greater genetic merit than the current generation.

For more episodes from the Dairy Edge podcast go to the show page at: www.teagasc.ie/thedairyedge