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Demand for dairy semen remains strong

Date Posted: 14th March 2024

Ai Services (Northern Ireland) Ltd is confirming a continuing and strong demand for quality dairy semen.

According to the company’s Ivan Minford, this reflects the needs of milk producers with year-round calving herds to maintain a constant supply of replacement heifers. He added:

“In addition,  farmers with predominantly autumn/winter calving herds must plan to produce a greater number of replacement heifers than they actually need on paper.

“Not every calf survives up to point of calving as a replacement heifer. The use of sexed semen is allowing milk producers to more efficiently plan their breeding programmes. 

“But, as a rule of thumb, they should plan to calve down and additional 10 to 15% of heifer calves above their actual herd replacement figure, simple to cover all eventualities.”

Ivan is also cautioning producers with autumn/winter calving cows not to switch to beef semen too early this spring.  He explained:

“The increased use of sexed semen over the past couple of years has brought about a significant increase in the number of replacement dairy heifers that are available right now.

“But milk producers must be thinking two to three years ahead in terms for their breeding programmes.

“And, in practical terms, this means sticking to a well thought out, long-term breeding programme, centred on the use of sexed semen. 

“A strong push towards the use of beef semen at the present time could well result in a significant under supply of dairy replacement heifers two years hence.”

Ivan made these comments against the backdrop of Ai Services lunching the company’s inaugural ‘Holstein Spring Update’. He explained:

“The new publication allows us to update the performance figures that feature in both the August and December Holstein bull runs.

“It also provides Ai Services to profile a number of new bulls for the first time.”

Ivan confirmed that the ‘Spring Update’ features quality sires with both genomic and daughter proofs.

“We are currently featuring seven of the Top 20 PLI listing sires. Significantly, three of the Top 5 PLI bulls are available to us,” he added.

“A case in point is Peak ALTAORVAR. He the currently the number one PLI bull at +£925 with a staggering daughter fertility index of +12.8.

“This high ranking sire has been used extensively to breed the next generation of elite dairy bulls.”

Another exceptional sire currently available to Ai Services is Progenesis ALTA VANDYKE. He has a current PLI value of +£887.  Ivan Minford again:

“Vandyke will be of particular interest to farmers with robotic milking systems. He is confirmed at +900kg for milk and +90kg for combined fat and protein.

“But it’s Vandyke’s udder, teat position and length indices that will make very attractive for dairy farmers with robotic milking systems.”

Peak BULLPOCALYPSE  is another bull featured in the current Top 20 PLI listings. According to Ivan Minford, he is one of the best, all-round sires available at the present time.

His production figures currently encompass +782kg of milk plus a combined butterfat and protein figure of +75kg.  The Ai Services’ representative commented:

“Bullpocalypse daughters have excellent udders. With excellent attachment, both front and rear. 

“His daughter fertility index currently stands at +11.2 with a lifespan figure of +140days.”

Turning to sires with daughter proofs, Ivan specifically highlighted the performance of Peak ALTA INDIGO.

There are currently 965 daughters across 174 herds in his production proof. Within his type proof, a total of 40 daughters have been classified with 32 scoring 82 points and above as heifers.

“Eight of the 40 heifers scored VG during the first lactation,” Ivan further explained.

“Indigo is a high production sire, proven to boost milk yield by +700kg. He is also positive where both fat and protein percentages are concerned.

“His daughters will display excellent strength across the chest and rump area. Invariably, they have snugly attached udders with excellent teat length and positioning.”

Another bull with an exceptional daughter proof is: GARIDO.

He has 3,000 daughters in his production proof and 2,000 in his daughter type proof.  Ivan explained,

“Garido daughters are strong, robust cows with excellent rump width and tremendous udders”

“This bull is ideally suited for both intensive and extensive systems as his daughters have excellent legs and feet with superb locomotion.” 

The new ‘Holstein Spring Update 2024’ can be downloaded or viewed on the Ai Services’ website:

For further information, telephone Ivan Minford on: 07831 189852

Garido Daughter:  BGW Garida VG86
Garido Daughter: BGW Garida VG86