Letters in the post show 'significant' changes to index
Published 12/08/2015 | 02:30
Letters landing on the doorsteps of farmers detailing the genetic status of their beef herds will show "significant changes" to the replacement index.
The ICBF said the move will emphasise the key maternal traits for beef herds - such as milk and fertility - within the replacement index, which is a key target in the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP).
However, the first of the farmers receiving their letters in the post this week will also see that the changes will substantially reduce the replacement value of all animals by around €60.
The ICBF points out this is because the Euro-Star replacement index is now based on the performance of a cow per calving and will include the performance of her progeny.
Previously, it was based on the performance of a breeding bull, which also included male calves destined for slaughter.
The weighting on the milk and fertility traits in the new index is up by 6pc. It has seen 20 out of the top 100 active AI sires based on the replacement index slip out of the top 100 rankings since it was last calculated in April.
However, the ICBF has emphasised the letters will show the majority of the 30,000 farmers signed-up will meet the four and five star targets. Farm bodies had raised concerns over suckler farmers reaching the targets.
Over 90pc already meet the 2018 requirement to have 20pc of the breeding herd ranked in the top 40pc nationally.