ICBF publishes updated active bull lists

The breeding season for autumn calving herds is well underway on suckler farms. For farmers using artificial insemination (AI) sires as part of their breeding program – and using genetic evaluations to aid their sire selection – they may want to take a look at the updated ‘active bull’ list published this week by the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF).

As part of the November genetic evaluation run which was published on Tuesday (November 24), the list was updated with any relevant changes in rankings being made.

It provides a ranking of currently available AI sires on both the Terminal and Replacement Indices based on the most recent genetic evaluations.

Each bull must meet a certain level of criteria in order to be considered to be ranked on the list – as some farmers may wonder why some new AI sires have not featured that may have higher indices.

For beef sires, the criteria includes each bull having a 50% reliability or greater on both his Terminal or Replacement Index, depending on the list. They also must have a 50% or greater reliability on their predicted calving difficulty trait.

Having a valid genomic component in his evaluation, along with siring at least one calf which has a calving survey recorded, is also required.

Terminal Index

A Belgian Blue sire has taken the top ranking on the Terminal Index list. Kilconnelly Kodaline, who is available through the National Cattle Breeding Centre (NCBC), currently has a Terminal figure of €203 with a 58% reliability. He has also been awarded a calving difficulty of 2.7% on matings with beef cows.

In second position is a Limousin sire, Gstaad, who is ranked at a €193 on the Terminal Index at a reliability of 67%. This Eurogene sire has a calving difficulty percentage of 5.1% on matings with beef cows.

Another Belgian Blue sire has taken the third placing on the list, as Dovea Genetics sire Gigi Du Bois Remont ranks in at €187 on the Terminal Index with a reliability of 90%. This bull also has a calving difficulty percentage of 8.3% on matings with beef cows.

The top 10 bulls on the list comprise of: four Belgian Blue bulls; three Charolais bulls; two Limousin bulls; and one Aubrac sire.

Data source: ICBF

Replacement Index

Rankings on the Replacement Index ‘active bulls’ list sees Saler sires taking the top four positions on the list.

Coming in first place, by having an index value of €263 and trait reliability of 86% is the Saler bull, Ulsan. This Dovea Genetics bull has been given quite a low predicted calving difficulty of 0.8% on matings with beef cows at a reliability of 97%.

In second place is Knottown Roy who is also a Saler sire available through NCBC. This bull boasts a Replacement Index value of €246 at 58% reliability. Alongside this, he has also been awarded a calving difficulty figure of 1.4% on beef cow matings.

Saler bull Beguin came in third position, with a Replacement Index value of €243 and reliability of 79%. A predicted calving difficulty of 1.6% has been given to this NCBC sire on matings with beef cows, with a reliability of 95%.

In the overall top 10 ranking, along with the top four Saler sires, the list also consists of: two Limousin sires; two Aubrac sires; one Simmental; and one Belgian Blue.

Data source: ICBF