This ICBF index change has been a bolt out of the blue. As a west of Ireland suckler farmer producing weanlings, using Hereford and Angus genetics would be a last resort.

Like all breeds, they have their positive values but command the poorest prices in the weanling sales ring.

I use a combination of Salers, Blue, Limousin and Charolais cows, crossed back to a combination of AI bulls from these same breeds.

From what I have read, all these breeds will suffer in the new index changes.

One of the requirements of SCEP is the percentage four and five star AI bulls used.

I have used all four and five star bulls this year, but will they be four and five star come next year with the new changes?

Are we now farming for the environment as opposed to profitability?

The suckler sector will meet it’s environmental targets by 2030 if those suckling just continue as we are, given the huge exodus of farmers from the sector.