There is increased demand once again from dairy farmers for sexed semen this year, despite breeding being a week behind on many of farms.

This slow start was “totally weather-related” according to commercial manager of Munster Bovine, Tom Baker, who said that many farmers who had cows and heifers still housed put breeding off.

Baker maintained that sexed semen sales are 20% to 25% ahead of last year so far, with Munster Bovine’s top sexed bulls nearly sold out.

“Conception rates now are almost on par with conventional semen. There have been various advancements made over the last 10 years with sexed semen and the product is definitely more successful,” he said.

Similarly, sexed semen sales at Dovea Genetics in Co Tipperary are progressing well this breeding season.

The adverse weather, however, also had an impact on breeding.

“The top sexed bulls are selling out, so the advice from Dovea Genetics – if [you’re]interested in sexed semen – is to speak to your sales representative or AI technician and order sexed semen,” Ger Ryan, general manager of Dovea, told the Irish Farmers Journal.


Demand for sexed semen for both Bova’s beef and high-EBI dairy sires has been very strong this season.

This is despite sexed dairy semen not being the norm for Bova’s customers, Michael O’Neill of Bova said.

“The benefits of using sexed straws for dairy customers are that they can breed sufficient dairy replacements for use in their own herds and then use top beef sires to breed dairy beef calves for repeat buying customers.

“This eliminates a dairy bull calf oversupply, which cripples the Irish agricultural scene each spring,” O’Neill said.

More of an effort for the majority of dairy farmers needs to go into choosing better beef sires, O’Neill argued.

Shane Leane, technical sales manager with Progressive Genetics, said that farmers are only beginning to AI on farms now due to the weather.

However, sales of both sexed and conventional semen were still strong, despite AI technicians being quiet.

“Farmers were occupied with a lot of other things and stress levels were high.

“We would normally kick off the middle of April but this week a lot of farmers will be hitting the ground running,” he said.