The Commercial Beef Value (CBV) is expressed as a monetary value. The higher the € value, the more profitable the animal is predicted to be based on its genetics. But what is a high value? Where does an animal with a CBV of €200 for example rank? It is important to have a reference point from which to get an idea as to where an animal sits relative to the wider population of animals.

Star Ratings

The CBV, like the Euro-Star Indexes, has star ratings. There are ‘across breed’ stars which rank an animal’s CBV against the entire population and ‘within breed type’ stars which rank an animal’s CBV only against animals of the same breed type. There are three breed types:

  • Suckler (beef sire and beef dam)
  • Dairy x Beef (one dairy parent and one beef parent)
  • Dairy x Dairy (dairy sire and dairy dam)

Table 1 shows the CBV star-rating percentiles across breed and for the three breed types.

Table 1.  The CBV star-rating percentiles

As you would expect, the bar is much higher to be a 5-star in the suckler category (min €296) than it is in the dairy x beef (min €133) and dairy x dairy (min €20). The ‘within breed type stars’ are displayed on the mart boards. Farmers often have a set enterprise in terms of the type of animal they buy e.g. continental suckler weanlings, dairy x beef store heifers, Friesian bull calves, etc. The ‘within breed type’ star rating will help farmers to identify the highest genetic merit animals within the breed type of interest to them. The percentiles will move slightly with every evaluation. If the national herd is seeing genetic gain, then the percentile (cut-off) values will increase.

How do suckler animals compare when ranked by breed?

Looking at the suckler calves born in 2023 shows quite a big variation in the average CBV’s by breed. Table 2 gives a breakdown of the CBV across all of the main breeds.

Table 2. CBV comparison of suckler bred calves born in 2023 across the main beef breeds

As you would expect, the main Continental breeds have the highest average CBV’s. For example, the average Belgian Blue sired calf born in 2023 had a CBV of €293 with the top 10% being >€341. The average Hereford calf was back at €171 with the top 10% being >€216.

The CBV can be a very useful tool for suckler farmers as outlined in a previous article. By using the star ratings and breed percentiles, farmers can become familiar with the CBV and where different values rank. For more information on the CBV, go to or email [email protected].