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New Commercial Beef Value (CBV) announced by ICBF

At last week's Virtual Beef Conference ICBF announced a new Commercial Beef Value. Described as a new selection tool for farmers with non breeding herds it will have particular relevance to those herds that are purchasing animals to bring to finish. Aidan Murray, Teagasc Beef Specialist has details

The new Commercial Beef Value (CBV) will have particular relevance to those herds that are purchasing calves, weanlings,stores and bringing them through to finish.

What is Commercial Beef Value?

In the €urostar Index we have a terminal Index which is made up of Feed Intake, Calving traits, Docility and Carcase traits. Once the animal is presented for sale the calving traits are of no significance to the purchaser so the commercial beef value just takes account of the Feed Intake, docility and carcase traits of carcase weight, conformation and fat.

The CBV will appear with an economic value in €uro but animals will also be ranked on a 1 to 5 star basis with five stars being more desirable.

Because of the variation in stock types three categories have been set up.

  • Suckler (Beef Dam & Sire)
  • Dairy X Beef (Dairy Dam x Beef Sire)
  • Dairy X Dairy (Dairy Dam x Dairy sire)

CBV’s will not be available on Pedigree beef males and females, dairy females and calved females.

Generally higher CBV values will mean better performance and higher carcase value so based on the three categories outlined above we would expect suckler progeny to have higher CBV € compared to dairy x beef and dairy X dairy stock, but within each category you would expect a range.

So if for example we look to buy a Friesian bull calf and two are presented, one has a CBV of -€80 and another has a CBV of +€5. The calf with a value of €5 has better beefing characteristics than the one at -€80 and should deliver €85 more than the calf with the lower value. The extra value will come as a result of possibly better feed efficiency, carcase weight, conformation etc.

It certainly helps to determine the genetic potential of various calves, which can be very difficult to judge just by viewing them at 2-3 weeks old.

Rollout of the CBV

In terms of rollout of the CBV for those of you currently on ICBF Herdplus you can view the CBV of animals in your herd by logging in and going into ‘View Profiles’ and it will be listed under ‘General’

Throughout 2022 it will feature in articles in the farming media, at farm walks, it will be displayed on mart boards and ICBF will continue to develop output reports.

Over time we would obviously like to increase the recording of sire details especially on dairy cross calves because correct parentage will be vital to establish an animals CBV. If all calves were to be genotyped in the future that would solve this issue.

As purchasers it is important to understand what CBV means and what it might tell us in terms of the potential purchase value of an animal. With climate change there will be a greater onus on selecting animals of higher performance and efficiency and selecting the right genetics will be a significant part of this.

Given the potential number of calves that will come from the dairy herd and end up being finished on beef farms, can the CBV be used to signal to dairy farmers what will deliver for beef farmers? The CBV clearly shows that not all Friesian calves are the same nor are all dairy beef cross calves, and those that have the better genetics are worth more and will be more attractive to the purchaser.

If used correctly it will be a very useful tool for selecting beef animals across all categories but firstly we must understand it, begin to use it and signal its relevance to all elements of the supply chain.

Chris Daly, ICBF explains the CBV at the National Beef Conference below


National Beef Conference

The National Beef Conference took place virtually this year on 6th and 8th December. The conference consisted of the latest beef research and the best technical advice for beef farmers. Watch it back here

The Teagasc Beef Specialists issue an article on a topic of interest to Suckler and Beef farmers every Wednesday here on Teagasc Daily.  Find more on Teagasc Beef here  Teagasc provides a Local Advisory and Education service to farmers. Find your local Teagasc office here