2016 News

EBI Base Change September 2016

EBI Base Change September 2016

The Economic Breeding Index (EBI) was launched in November 2000 by ICBF in a bid to provide farmers with a single figure profit index, aimed at identifying the most profitable bulls and cows for breeding dairy herd replacements. Since its inception, the EBI has undergone several changes and in September 2016, it will undergo a base change in order to reflect modern cows and production.

ICBF’s Francis Kearney explains, “Currently, the EBI uses a separate base for production and fertility traits. The production base is 1995 born cows, milk recorded in 2000. The fertility base is sires born between 1988 and 1992, with 90% reliability.

The new base for production and fertility will be 2005 born cows, calved and milk recorded in 2007, with at least two years out of five milk recorded.”

The Irish Farmers’ Journal’s Aidan Brennan says, “Because genetics have improved in the interim, animals are now being compared against better animals, so the expected performance difference has decreased, hence their EBIs are lower. The ranking of cows and bulls is the same – so the best bulls will still be the best bulls. The bulls that will fluctuate most are those that are going from a mostly parental average or genomic index to a daughter-proven index with greater reliability.”

This updating of the base cow by ten years will result in a reduction in current EBI rankings of €71 for every dairy animal. However, because the change will be implemented during an annual genetic evaluation which will add data on animals, the exact change in an animal’s EBI will also depend on the new data added.

MRI Netherlands Website

MRI Netherlands Website

The two Dutch associations for MRI cattle in the Netherlands, MRIJ Oost (east) and MRIJ Zuid (south) have come together and have published a joint website under the heading of “MRIJ Nederland” which can be found at www.mrij.nu.

Whilst the administration of the two associations remains separate from one another, the website was brought to life as a marketing tool for the breed and also a news board for the members of MRIJ Oost and MRIJ Zuid. Along breed information, similar to our own website, the reader will find club news such as reports on open days, show reports, bull news etc. There is also a Marketplace page with MRI stock offered for sale or wanted to buy.

The website is only available in Dutch, but photos and videos can be enjoyed even if you don’t speak the language.

Latest News

A.I. Sire Statistics 2014

Here is the Top Ten of most used MRI A.I. sires in Ireland with live offspring born in the calendar year 2014:-

AI Code

Bull Name

MY %

AI Company

2014 Offspring




Dovea Genetics





Dovea Genetics





Progressive Genetics





Progressive Genetics



Sunnyside Don


Dovea Genetics





Dovea Genetics





Eurogene / LIC





Eurogene / LIC





Eurogene / LIC





Eurogene / LIC


(Source of data: ICBF)

Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) 2015 - 2020

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine are currently posting the application form for the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) 2015 - 2020 to herd owners. By entering into the programme farmers are committing to meet the requirements of the BDGP for a full six year period. The closing date for applications is 29 May 2015.

We would like to remind all keepers of MRI cows for suckling purposes, that - as a true dual purpose breed - the MRI are eligible for inclusion in the BDGP as well as all other beef payment schemes.

MRI cow with Limousin bull calf

Progressive Genetics’ MRI Sires 2015

Laurence Feeney, Marketing Manager for Progressive Genetics, has confirmed availability of semen from the following MRI sires:-

Laurence also confirmed that SiryX sexed semen from Dutch MRI sire Marcello is still available at a cost of €45 per straw. Due to the high cost and low usage of sexed semen Progressive Genetics do not carry stock of sexed Marcello semen. Progressive Genetics therefore require intended users to order some weeks in advance, to enable the company to import the semen.

For more information about SiryX sexed semen click here.

To arrange delivery of semen to your local A.I. technician or your own flask, please phone Progressive Genetics on 01 4080743.

Dovea Genetics’ MRI Sires 2015

Pat O'Connor of Dovea last week confirmed availability of semen from the following MRI sires:-

Please note that there may be limited availability of some of the sires listed above!

To arrange delivery of semen to your local A.I. technician or your own flask, please phone Dovea Genetics on 0504 21755.

Damian DN available from Dovea Genetics

Dovea Genetics of Thurles, Co. Tipperary are introducing straws from Dutch MRI bull "Damian DN" for the 2015 spring A.I. season.

Born in Holland in 2007, this Duisenberg x Guido bull's bloodlines may suit many Irish breeders. Damian is classified 100% pedigree MRI, and at time of writing, the following production values apply: Irish EBI 152 (Milk 49); Dutch NVI 162 (Milk 197); German RZG 119 (Milk 121).

According to the German RSH (Rinderzucht Schleswig-Holstein), Damian DN daughters have proven to be well built, with a wide pelvis and sound, well positioned feet and legs. In Germany and Holland, Damian DN is considered easy calving and suitable for heifers. His Dutch ratings for somatic cell count are excellent, no doubt aided by his daughters lengthy teats, however, teat placement is not always ideal. The RSH suggests to pay attention to the udders' comparatively weak central ligament and the slightly low rear udder height.

Official breeding values show Damian DN's daughters to be blessed with immense longevity in Dutch dairy herds, the rating of 251 vastly surpassing the advised average value of 100.

ICBF has issued Damian DN with A.I. code S2301, and any enquiries and orders should be addressed to your local Dovea area representative or their head office (ph. 0504 21755).