The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association’s (ICSA) beef chair Edmund Graham has called on Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue to ensure that the commercial beef value (CBV) of all calves is displayed on mart boards.
“Back in December 2021 when the CBV was launched by ICBF, assurances were given that this information would in time be displayed on mart boards.
“This hasn’t happened and Minister McConalogue now needs to take the lead on this to ensure that it does,” he said.
The CBV is a tool for non-breeding beef farmers which allows for better insight into an animal’s genetic merit.
“There are significant variations in efficiency and cost effectiveness when it comes to finishing animals depending on their CBV,” Graham continued.
“Farmers buying calves, weanlings, and store cattle in marts need this information to make informed decisions about what they are buying and how these animals are likely to perform. In the context of aiming to meet our climate targets this information is essential.
“If those buying are to have any chance of increasing their efficiency – be it through maximising weight gain or finishing cattle earlier – then ICBF needs to gather as much information as possible on these animals and display this information in the marts,” he said.
Increasing efficiency cannot be achieved if farmers are left in the dark about what they are buying, he added.
Graham said that beef farmers need to be armed with this knowledge to make sound investment decisions when it comes to purchasing stock.
“It is also vital that we encourage the breeding of more balanced type calves for beef enterprises and making CBVs a standard feature on mart boards is the only way to achieve that.”
“Beef farmers need to be armed with this knowledge to make sound investment decisions when it comes to purchasing stock.”