Beef Updates Jan 2023

The Beef Sub-Indexes of the Economic Breeding Index (EBI), Dairy Beef Index (DBI) and Commercial Beef Value (CBV) became more closely aligned with changes introduced by ICBF in Jan’23. Each of the three indexes include the core traits of carcass weight, carcass conformation, age at slaughter, and a composite ‘in-spec’ trait aimed at identifying progeny that conform to desired factory specifications for carcass weight (280 to 380 kg), conformation (O= and better), and fat (2+ to 4=). Albeit, differences between the sub-indexes still exist (Table 1).Table 1. Comparison of traits included in the Economic Breeding Index (EBI), Dairy Beef Index (DBI) and Commercial Beef Value (CBV)

Commercial Beef Value (CBV)

The CBV is an indication of expected profit of cattle at the point of slaughter relative to others of the same animal-type. The CBV works on an across breed basis, whereby there are three animal types: 1) dairy bred, 2) dairy-beef, and 3) suckler beef. The CBV is essentially the DBI less the Calving Sub-Index, and the resulting value doubled. A comparison of the relative emphasis of the DBI and CBV is in Figure 1. The CBV is available on genotyped cattle and visible on mart boards as well as animal profiles on

Figure 1. Relative Emphasis of Dairy Beef Index (DBI) and Commercial Beef Value (CBV). Updated Jan ’23.

Predicting CBV from Sire-Dam Mating Combinations

Since dairy females are bred for milk production, not slaughter, their CBV is not generated and cannot be used to predict progeny CBV of sire-dam mating combinations; only the Beef SI from the EBI is available on dairy females. For Beef Bulls the Beef SI from the DBI is available. Since differences remain in the traits included in the Beef SI of the EBI and DBI, they cannot be directly considered like-for-like (Table 1).

That said, it’s useful to identify the minimum requirements of beef bulls for use in dairy herds in order to achieve high genetic merit CBV dairy-beef progeny. Table 2 provides the minimum DBI Beef SI required for beef bulls to achieve 4* dairy-beef progeny for dairy herds with a very poor (1*) to very good (5*) EBI Beef SI. Dairy herds can establish their star-ranking on the EBI Beef SI from the Herd EBI Scorecard, available on EBI Reports and the EBI Profile (Figure 2). Herds with an average EBI Beef SI of -€2 would require beef bulls with a minimum DBI Beef SI €88 to achieve progeny ranking in the 70th CBV percentile of all dairy-beef cattle (Table 2).

Minimum required DBI Beef SI of (AA/HE) beef bulls to achieve at least a 4* CBV dairy-beef calf (i.e., €93 or 70th percentile) categorised by dairy herd ranking on EBI Beef SI.
Figure 3. Example of Herd EBI Scorecard which gives dairy farmers an indication of their herd-rank and star rating on the Beef SI.

For more information the DBI or CBV, please call the HerdPlus office on 023-8820452 or email [email protected].