The board of ICBF has decided to reschedule the implementation date of the New Beef Eurostar evaluations from Tuesday 21st November to Tuesday 28th November. ICBF will engage in further communications with both pedigree and commercial beef farmers on the upcoming changes.
The implementation of improvements to both the Terminal and Replacement beef indexes is the result of an independent technical review and consultation with a focus group. These changes stem from several years of collaborative research between Teagasc and ICBF, on the back of industry feedback and international best practice.
The last review of beef breeding indexes in Ireland occurred in 2015 with the relative emphasis on the individual traits derived by Teagasc. Because of the on-going Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP), the indexes were not updated despite obvious changes in output prices and costs of production.
From a Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP) perspective, all existing genotyped 4 and 5 star animals will remain eligible for the programme in their current herds. In any case, 84% of animals that are 4 and 5-star on the current evaluation will remain 4 and 5 star on the new evaluation. The fact that some animals will rise from 3 star to 4 and 5 star means even more animals will become eligible which will see more herds meeting the 2023 SCEP Female Replacement requirement.
The fundamental improvements to the genetic evaluations include:
- Updates to the economic values on individual traits to better reflect the markets
- Inclusion of Carbon to future-proof our breeding policy
- Inclusion of new traits to better reflect the changing market requirements
- Improved methodology in how animals are genetically evaluated
Update to economic values:
Breeding indexes globally are regularly updated to reflect the changes in output prices and costs of production. The updates to the economic values for all traits in both the Terminal and Replacement indexes better represent the longer-term outlook on the industry as a whole.
For example – Carcass weight economic value has increased from €3.89/kg to €4.68/kg.
Further information on the upcoming changes can be found on our website https://www.icbf.com/icbf-to-launch-improved-genetic-evaluations-in-november/
An information webinar was held on Thursday 2nd November in conjunction with Teagasc on the upcoming changes. Watch it back here https://youtu.be/pQXKkDfeeF0?si=NNBrH1s43p05YstA