A number of significant changes will be made to the Euro-Star rating system for all beef animals, says the ICBF.

The majority of these changes have occurred within the replacement index.

The new ratings now place more emphasis on the key maternal traits such as milk and fertility with the weightings for these indexes increased by 6%.

These traits now account for account for 41% of the total weighting.

This increase has led to corresponding decreases in calving traits (-3%), beef traits (-4%) and feed intake (-5%) while the docility weighting remains unchanged.

Chnges to replacement index

Now, the replacement index will be based on each individual calving, the previous index was expressed over the lifetime of the breeding female.

This accounted for the performance of the breeding bull, male calves destined for slaughter, female calves retained for breeding and all other subsequent progeny.

Under the new system a cow with a replacement index of €100 should produce €100 more profit/calving compared to a cow with a value of €0, says the ICBF.

€60/head is set to be knocked off the replacement value of each individual animal in the country as a result of these changes, it says.

Other changes to the Euro-Star ratings include the removal of terminal indexes from all females and the abolishment of half stars.

Terminal indexes will now only be available for breeding males. Across breed stars will now only be available for pedigree stock with crossbreed animals having one set of stars which represents the across breeds category.