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Sep 14, 2015 | Press Releases | 0 comments


 14th September 2015

ICSA suckler chairman Dermot Kelleher has said that there are a lot of anomalies being reported by farmers in the star ratings that they have received for their herds.   Farmers are currently examining the maternal star ratings of animals in their herds sent to them by ICBF.  According to Mr Kelleher, many farmers have been surprised at the low ratings attributed to what the farmers consider their most successful cows.While, in general, farmers have discovered that they have more four and five star animals than they anticipated, it is of great concern to them that certain animals have scored very poorly.  This is despite the evidence on the ground which each farmer knows very well.  Farmers understand the dangers of rating cows on looks alone.
However, there are a lot of observations from farmers about cows that look good – but which also have a record of consistently producing top quality, high value weanlings – but are not getting the recognition by the ICBF ratings.”
It suggests that there is a need to reconsider the system of rating stock.  Exclusive dependence on a database and a computer is not necessarily the optimum way.  “It seems to me that there should be an opportunity for farmers to appeal low ratings for cows which they know have consistently produced high quality weanlings.   Where a farmer can point to good fertility and successful progeny sales from a cow, it should be possible for him to seek an independent weighing and scoring of the calf of such cows with a view to upgrading the rating of the cow.” After all, weight for age of the calf is the best determinant of the milk in a cow and this, combined with a visual assessment of the calf by a trained expert should ultimately lead to a far more accurate database,” said Mr Kelleher .Mr Kelleher reiterated the criticisms that ICSA have made of the BDGP scheme from the outset.   “We have consistently said that no farmer should be penalised for just missing star rating targets nor should they be subject to clawbacks of monies already paid.  This is why farmers are very anxious that high performing stock get the rating they deserve.”

08th September 15
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