A beef calf stands in a ring at a market© John Eveson

An economic breeding index has been developed that marries management traits and calf value, promising to offer three broad breeding options for dairy units.

Cogent UK has launched the £CBI, which is split into two sub-indices (£EMI and £MVI) to assist breeders in maximizing the value of their beef cross calves.

See also: Limousin launches four maternal genomic breeding values

Summary

  • Cogent beef impact (£CBI) index launched
  • Made up of ease of management impact (£EMI) and market value impact (£MVI)
  • Three breeding options offered
  • Based on 10 years of research, data and proven bulls

Farms prioritising low calf-management costs and ease of calving can select bulls on £EMI, farms seeking larger, higher value calves should focus more on £MVI and those wanting a compromise should look to £CBI for an all-rounder.

This is according to Cogent’s beef sire specialist Samantha Wilson, who says the reliable bull-testing programme remains the same but the data is displayed in a more transparent way.

“Some extreme-looking bulls can be very short gestation and easy calving,” explains Ms Wilson.

“This new tool enables our customers to make more informed breeding decisions and select the correct beef genetics that can be worth over 3p/litre/lactation.”

“This new tool enables our customers to make more informed breeding decisions and select the correct beef genetics that can be worth over 3p/litre/lactation.”

The index is designed with the dairy farmer in mind, using figures from real on-farm calving data, market research and peer-reviewed research.

An overall monetary benefit is given by adding EMI and MVI to result in CBI because the value of saving on labour and calving difficulty is felt by a farm just as the value of faster growing, heavier calves (calf value birth weight).

Ease of management impact (£EMI)

  • Calving ease, gestation length, calf vigour

Market Value Impact (£MVI)

  • Calf quality, birth weight

Cogent Beef Impact (£CBI)

EMI + MVI = CBI

For example: Springhill Improvement: £48.22 (EMI) + £22.12 (MVI) = £70.34 (CBI).