The Commercial Beef Value (CBV) is a new ICBF genetic value for all animals destined for beef production.

It comprises five traits that are important to a non-breeding (drystock) enterprise and will allow farmers to make more informed sale/purchase decisions with this important genetic information to hand.

The CBV is expressed as a euro (€) value like the EBI and Euro-Star Indexes. The higher the euro value, the higher the animals genetic merit for the traits included.

The five traits included in the CBV are:

  • Carcase weight, carcase conformation, carcase fat, docility and feed intake. It is essentially the Euro-Star Terminal Index with the calving traits removed. While calving traits are important to the farmer breeding the animals, they are of no economic significance to the farmer buying them.
  • Will the CBV have a star-rating?

    The CBV will have two star-ratings. An ‘across breed’ which ranks animals across all breeds and a ‘within breed type’ which ranks animals according to breed type. There are three ‘within breed type’ categories:

  • Suckler (beef sire and beef dam).
  • Dairy x beef (one dairy parent and one beef parent).
  • Dairy x dairy (dairy sire and dairy dam).
  • Bull 455.

    Table 1 details the CBV star-rating percentiles. A suckler animal, for example, with a CBV of €250 would be a three-star ‘within breed type’ and four-star ‘across breed’.

    Is the CBV identifying higher performing animals?

    ICBF carried out analysis on 40,000 steers slaughtered in November 2021 by comparing their slaughter performance to their CBVs. Table 2 outlines the results of the analysis on a suckler (beef sire x beef dam) subset of these steers.

    These animals were born in spring 2019 and were slaughtered at approximately 30 months.

    The CBVs used in the analysis are from the November 2021 evaluation. The carcase data from these animals was not included in this evaluation, meaning the pre-slaughter CBVs were an excellent predictor of performance.

    The five-star animals (top 20%) had the highest performance at slaughter, and ultimately, the highest value carcases. As the level of genotyping in Irish dairy and suckler herds increases, more and more animals will be presented for sale with genomic CBV figures, which will further add to its reliability.

    When trading beef animals, farmers are generally reliant on liveweight and their own visual assessment of an animal to make a decision on its value. These can be good indicators of an animal’s genetic potential, but may not give a complete picture. As the example below demonstrates, there can often be instances of animals with similar liveweights and visual appearances but with significant differences in their genetic merit. Table 3 contains details of two young bulls on Tullamore Farm that are similar in appearance and liveweight, but have very different CBVs.

    The two bulls are similar in appearance and weight gain, but Bull 455 has a much higher CBV due to its superior genetics. This will most likely result in a better ‘killout’ but also a potential saving on feed cost, as feed intake is also factored into the CBV.

    How can I access the CBVs on my animals?

    Farmers signed up to the ICBF HerdPlus service can access the CBVs of their animals through their HerdPlus account. Under the ‘View Profiles’ dropdown, click on ‘Commercial Beef Value’.

    This will open a profile which shows all eligible animals with their CBVs, star ratings and each of the five trait values. ICBF will also be working with marts to have CBVs showing on mart boards this year.


    The introduction of the CBV is an important development in the trading of beef animals.

    Whether it be dairy male calves at three weeks old or continental suckler steers at 18 months old, having genetic information to hand when making sale/purchase decisions is vital for farmers.

    The analysis has shown that the CBV is predicting animals that ultimately have higher carcase performance. Farmers can, therefore, incorporate the CBV into their sale/purchase decisions with confidence.