Replacement index changes to have little impact – Charolais Cattle Society

The adjustments to the replacement index under the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) will have very little impact on the Charolais beef breed, according to Martin Ryan.

According to the former President of the Charolais Cattle Society, the current issues are in the mind set of breeders rather then the actual data, with many farmers struggling to distinguish between the terminal and replacement differences.

“Many Charolais breeders think the new indexes are a big deal, a lot of breeders are confused.”

Ryan added that the scheme has changed to bring about more of an emphasis on milk and fertility, but he added that the calf quality aspect contributes greatly to the new index make up, which still makes up 21% of the index value.

The Tipperary based breeder, who is also on the board of the ICBF added that the majority of buyers are not buying Charolais bulls to breed replacements but rather to put terminal stock on the ground.

“Nobody is buying a Charolais bull for the replacement index, the feed of replacements in these herds are not coming off the stock bull.”

According to the member of the ICBF board, 50% of Irish cows will have to be either four or five star by 2018, which is easily achievable as by the nature of the scheme 40% of animals will fall within these brackets.

The Tipperary based breeder also said that the scheme will have very little impact on the current cows on the ground, but it will impact on the calves born over the next couple of years.

“Generally speaking there is a 16% replacement rate in the Irish suckler herd, so in five years time approximately 90% of the current cows on the ground will be gone.

“The current changes will impact on the future calves rather then those on the ground at the minute,” said Ryan.

Chnges to replacement index

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