Spring 2019 active beef bull list ranked on Dairy Beef Index now available

The expansion in the dairy industry has resulted in more bull calves from the dairy herd coming on stream for beef production.

However, it is no secret that the quality of calves that originate from the dairy herd – destined for beef production – needs to be improved – especially when it comes to carcass weight and conformation.

With this in mind, the Dairy Beef Index (DBI) – which was developed by the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) and Teagasc – is a breeding goal for Irish dairy and beef farmers to promote high-quality beef cattle bred from the dairy herd that are more saleable as calves and profitable at slaughter.

However, they have minimal consequences on the calving difficulty or gestation length of the dairy cow.

The DBI ranks beef bulls – for use in the dairy herd – according to their genetic merit for a range of calving performance and carcass performance traits.

The overall DBI is expressed in euros (€). Each €1 increase in DBI can be interpreted as a €1 expected increase in profit for that bull’s progeny compared to progeny born to the average Holstein-Friesian bull.

According to the ICBF, the Dairy Beef Index (DBI) provides a simple method of identifying beef bulls that are both easy calving and short gestation.

In addition, the ICBF says, progeny sired by high-DBI bulls generate a higher calf price and they have better carcass performance than progeny sired by beef bulls that were simply used for their ease of calving and short gestation.


For Spring 2019, only beef AI bulls that have ≥30 progeny in dairy herds (i.e., born to dairy dams) have a DBI which is published under ‘Genetic Evaluations’ – ‘Dairy/Beef Results’.

However, over time, the DBI will be made available for all beef bulls (AI and stock bulls). To view the active bull list, just click here