Harris Ranch Heterosis Research Project
- To start the project in 2005, Lacey Livestock identified 400 Angus-based cows that were mated randomly to 10 Hereford bulls or 10 Angus bulls. After the first year, the number of cows bred was increased to 600 and more sires were added.
- The study is designed to be as similar as possible to a typical commercial operation. The bulls were chosen based on their comparable genetics measured by expected progeny differences (EPDs).
- Cattle were weaned and delivered to a grower lot for a short backgrounding phase prior to arrival at the feedlot.
- The steers were finished at Harris Feeding Co., Coalinga, Calif., under traditional commercial feedlot conditions. Only steers that could be individually identified to one sire (not multiple sires or unknowns) were included in the analysis.
- The effect of maternal heterosis will continue to be measured by tracking the productivity of the retained heifers that were grouped by sire based on DNA testing. The goal is to measure lifetime productivity and profitability of each group.
- All data was analyzed by David A. Daley and Sean P. Earley of California State University, Chico.
“Believing in Heterosis” February 2009 Hereford World
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The Hereford Youth Foundation of America is honored to have the support of Barber Ranch, Channing, Texas, who will donate the Lot 1 Foundation Female to lead off the Mile High Night Sale Friday, Jan. 13 during the National Western Livestock Show in Denver, Colo.
The American Hereford Association partnered with Allflex to release Tissue Sampling Units as a new method for producers to collect herd DNA samples. TSUs can be used at any point in an animal's life, but offer a reduced-stress option since the procedure can be done while tagging, rather than adding an additional step to pull blood or hair. A TSU can be purchased from the AHA for $2. A customizable five-digit alphanumeric Allflex tag and TSU unit can also be purchased together for $3.75/unit.