A new scorecard for dairy farmers on their dairy-beef integration is being introduced next year.

The new scorecard will rate farmers on their participation in efforts to improve calf health, welfare and image, genetics and carcase performance.

This scorecard will be shared with Government and industry programmes such as the Bord Bia sustainable dairy assurance scheme (SDAS).

Key indicator

The new key performance indicator was announced by ICBF’s Andrew Cromie at the launch of the new carbon sub-index in the dairy EBI and the Commercial Beef Value (CBV) at Corrin Mart on Wednesday.

Cromie said he welcomed the ICOS move to ban the slaughter of calves at less than eight weeks of age, describing the move as “a good example of the industry working together” and that calf slaughter is “not a route we want to go down or a route we need to go down.”

Farmers can expect to see some of the key metrics around dairy beef integration from next year with the new CBV being displayed on mart boards for calves with a genotype only.

Cromie said that talks are at an advanced stage for the rollout of genotyping of the national dairy herd, suggesting the cost to farmers will be €5/head, with the Government or industry funding the remainder.

The introduction of the carbon sub-index into EBI means that smaller cows will end up with a higher overall EBI.

According to ICBF’s Margaret Kelleher, herds with a mature liveweight of 540kg to 560kg will see their EBI increase by €26 on average, more than any other cohort.