The latest update to the ICBF terminal and maternal indices have recently been released. The top five list of bulls on the maternal index is packed with what are household names at this stage, with three of them being Salers. The top five on terminal index is dominated by bulls that may not be as well-known or commonly used by a lot of farmers. While it is good to see new bulls coming through and that genetic gains are being made, it is important for farmers to carefully select which cows to mate with these newer bulls, which have somewhat lower reliability figures.

Terminal index

1 Gainsbarre (PT2165)

A Parthenise bull from Dovea with a terminal index of €197 and a reliability figure of 56%, he comes in at a very attractive 1.8% for cow calving difficulty. He packs a punch in terms of carcase weight, delivering +43kg. He does, however, only have six beef calving records in Ireland as of yet, but is definitely one to watch. Semen costs €12/straw.

2 Gstaad (LM4366)

Gstaad is a Limousin bull with the same terminal index figure as Gainsbarre at €197 and a reliability of 69%. Calving difficulty for cows comes in at 5.1% while he needs to be carefully considered on heifers at 10.1%. He also carries +4.2 days for gestation length, which is on the high side. He has a huge carcase weight figure of +44kg, with 75% reliability. This Eurogene bull comes at a cost of €30/straw.

3 Kilconnelly Kodaline (BB4492)

The first of two Belgian Blue bulls in the top five, Kodaline has a terminal index figure of €194 at 63% reliability. He is at just 2.6% for cow calving difficulty and carries a +31kg carcase weight figure. Availability of this NCBC bull is low, so you should talk to your AI technician in good time if you are thinking of using him this year. He costs €12/straw.

4 Giga Du Bois Remont (RGG)

Seeming to be ever-present near the top of the terminal index list, this Belgian Blue bull has an index figure of €187, with a 90% reliability.

He has a cow calving difficulty figure of 8.3% so farmers need to pick their cows carefully before selecting this sire. He comes from Dovea Genetics and is priced at €10/straw.

5 Meelickaduff Lamborghini (LM4330)

Rounding off the top five terminal index bulls, Lamborghini comes from Dunmasc genetics with an index figure of €178 at 66% reliability. His calving difficulty for cows comes in at 6.7% and he carries 4.5 days for gestation. His carcase weight figure is the highest of the top five bulls at 47kg. Currently there are just 57 beef calving records in the ICBF database.

Replacement index

1 Ulsan (SA2189)

Ulsan, a widely used Salers bull, has a huge replacement index figure of €254, with 88% reliability. The Dovea bull has a cow calving difficulty figure of just 0.8% and this only increases to 3.4% on heifers. He is -1.2 days for gestation and +9kg for daughter milk. He has been popular in recent years, as shown by his 2,244 calving records on the ICBF database, and he is available at a cost of €10/straw.

2 Beguin (SA4059)

The second-placed Salers bull from NCBC comes in with a replacement index figure of €248 at 82% reliability. Cow calving difficulty is just 1.6% and 4.3% for heifers, both with 95% reliability. He is +12.7 for daughter milk and with medium availability he might be one you need to ask your technician to have on the day. He is available at a cost of €26/straw.

3 Knottown Roy (SA4604)

Roy, who is a son of Beguin, has a replacement index figure of €243 at 62% reliability. He comes in with a slightly lower cow calving difficulty figure than his sire at 1.3%, is -0.2 days for gestation and has a daughter milk figure of 11.8kg. This NCBC bull is widely available at a cost of €12/straw.

4 Curaheeen Earp (SI2152)

This Simmental bull has been widely used in recent years by suckler farmers who have been working on the replacement index of their breeding herd. He has over 6,000 calving records on the system. With a replacement index of €212 at 93% reliability and a cow calving difficulty figure of just 3.5%, it is easy to see why he a popular sire for NCBC. Again, he is widely available and currently costs €14/straw.

5 Turloughmore Magnificent (AU4683)

The Aubrac breed has made significant gains in usage on the suckler herd in recent years and Magnificent from NCBC definitely doesn’t do the breed any harm. He has a replacement index figure of €208 at 54% reliability. Of all the top five replacement bulls he has the highest terminal index at €136 and 62% reliability. His cow calving difficulty figure comes in at just 2.1% at 88% reliability and he is +4.3kg for daughter milk. This bull will set you back €12/straw and is listed as medium availability.