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Ireland Injects $31M into Beef Genomics Program

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Ireland plans to pump €23 million ($31.1 million) next year into a program that will seek to use genomics to improve beef cattle while boosting efficiency and profits in the cattle industry.

Under the Beef Genomics Scheme, the funding will provide producers with €40 per calf, and in return the farmers will take samples from stock bulls and suckler cows for genotyping, Simon Coveney, Ireland's minister for Agriculture, Food, and the Marine, said yesterday.

"This will help to accelerate the kind of genetic improvement that will drive efficiency and increase profitability at farm level," Coveney said.

The Beef Genomics Scheme was unveiled as part of a total of €40 million in new funding, which also includes a Beef Data Programme and a Beef Technology Adoption Programme, among other projects.

"The collection of this vital genetic information can also provide a building block for the development of a genetic traceability system which would be a global first, placing Ireland firmly in first place globally when it comes to consumer assurance and traceability," Coveney said.