NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The Irish government this week launched a €300 million ($336.5 million) program aimed at improving beef genetics in the country.
The Beef Data and Genomics Programme is being funded under Ireland's 2014-2020 Rural Development Programme. It will provide €52 million per year to the suckler beef sector to accelerate genetic improvement in the national herd, while aiming to improve its environmental and economic stability.
Under the program, participants will receive a payment of €142.50 per hectare for the first 6.66 hectares, and €120 per payable hectare after that. In order to receive payment, participants must take tissue samples from certain animals for genotyping, transmit a range of data related to performance criteria and animal events to the Irish Cattle Breeding Foundation, and provide information that will help improve carbon efficiency and profitability of the herd.
"Improving the genetics of the national herd will enhance its carbon efficiency, and will also deliver significant economic benefits to farmers over time," Ireland's Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney said in a statement. "The benefits of genetic gain are cumulative and permanent."