The Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) beef index row continues to rumble on, with the latest ICBF industry stakeholder meeting being adjourned last Thursday – without many resolutions being found.

The cow weight issue has been somewhat resolved, with a 450kg baseline weight now being applied to the model.

Cows weighing lighter than 450kg won’t get any further financial boost in the replacement index.

Heavy cows are up for further discussion, along with a weanling production subindex, taking carbon completely out of the index and applying a low-cost extensive suckler production scenario to the Teagasc model used to generate the indexes.

Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal ICBF CEO, Seán Coughlan, said: “We felt the meeting was constructive, and that everybody involved is slowly finding a way to move forward.”

The biggest confusion now rests around bull eligibility for the Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP).

Under the current terms and conditions of the scheme, cows that are served with AI this spring to calve in scheme year three (1 July 2024 to 30 June 2025) would need to be 4/5 star at some point since the 1 July 2023 evaluation run.

There have been calls for a relaxation on the terms and conditions of the stock bull requirements in the SCEP scheme, to allow pedigree bulls that were mated before the overhaul of the terminal and replacement index took place to become SCEP-eligible.

This decision currently rests in the Minister of Agriculture Charlie McConalogue’s hands. His decision will also determine whether a further stakeholder’s meeting will take place on Friday.