Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Questions (525)

Andrew Doyle

Question:

525. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the issue of the fertility of suckler herds has been brought to his attention; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30688/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Fertility of the National Suckler herd is monitored by the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) through data collected from cattle breeding initiatives and DAFM Schemes such as the Beef Data Programme and its predecessor the Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme. Calving interval (CI) is an indicator of fertility and figures available from the ICBF are as follows.

C.I.

Year

391.07

2013

393.95

2012

403.33

2011

401.94

2010

396.05

2009

396.62

2008

398.12

2007

399.2

2006

These figures do not show any particular trend in fertility, other than some variation from year to year. The average calving interval is 397 days and these values range from 391 to 403 days. The inclement weather earlier this year combined with the difficult fodder situation may have impacted on fertility in the suckler herd. However, reliable information will not be available until later in the breeding season.