Below are the National Reference Sire Program (NRSP) results from 2016-born calves at Olsen Ranch in Harrisburg, Neb. Because of the American Hereford Association’s (AHA) partnerships with various test herds like Olsen’s, breeders can make better-informed decisions relative to traits of interest.
Ultimately the Association’s goal is to identify young sires that can positively affect the marketplace and give seedstock and commercial breeders alike proof that Hereford genetics are profitable. Likewise, proven sires are evaluated in this test to further validate their values and to give the young sires comparison with the Hereford population.
2016 Olsen Ranch results
Printed in Table 3 are the expected progeny differences (EPDs) for sires used, along with the phenotypes of progeny evaluated in the test. Listed in Table 1 are intake and gain data for the test cattle, along with calculated feed conversion results.
The adjusted feed-to-gain (F:G) ratio takes into account body weight.
The EPD profiles of the sires used reflect the phenotypes of progeny from the Olsen test and are from the Pan-America Cattle Evaluation (PACE) released on Jan. 15.
In summary, in Table 2, of the 218 evaluated on test, 95% of the cattle graded Choice or better and had an average yield grade of 3.4. Even more impressive, 58% of the cattle graded in the upper two-thirds of Choice.
On average, during the test period (74 days), the cattle consumed 20.1 lb. per day on a dry matter basis, gained 5.1 lb. per day and converted at 4:1.
It should be mentioned that at the start of the test period, weather conditions were extremely hot and dry which explain the suppressed intake of the steers. It’s also important to note these steers are backgrounded for approximately seven months on a forage diet and are not fed any concentrates before being placed on feed. These two reasons help highlight the exceptional conversion during the test period. Regardless, all steers were handled the same, and the differences between sires are the important data to study.
All in all, there are some great bulls in this lineup that can move the breed forward — checking a lot of boxes when it comes to being profitable in the industry. I would encourage any commercial cattleman to contact the breeders of these sires about getting semen on bulls meeting his or her criteria.
For breeders interested in participating in the NRSP, please refer to the nomination form or visit Hereford.org/NRSP. Nominations are due March 1.
Downloadable PDF Version