Performance Matters: Stahly NRSP Results Reported

September 13, 2018

by Shane Bedwell

Another year of successful sire testing at Stahly Ranch.

Below are the National Reference Sire Program (NRSP) results from 2017-born calves at Stahly Ranch, Cavour, S.D. Mike and Judy Stahly, along with their family, have been a part of the NRSP since 1999. Each year, Mike selects three sires to use in his program — one of these sires will also be used in the Olsen Ranch NRSP herd to link data and to accurately compare young and proven sires.

Because of the American Hereford Association’s (AHA) partnerships with various test herds like Stahly’s, breeders can make better-informed decisions relative to traits of interest. Ultimately our goal is to identify young sires that can positively affect the marketplace and can give seedstock and commercial breeders alike proof Hereford genetics are profitable. Likewise, this test evaluates proven sires to further validate their values and compares young sires with the Hereford population.

Table 1 displays the expected progeny differences (EPDs) for sires used, along with the phenotypes of progeny evaluated in the test. These data and the rest of the phenotypes will be used in the Pan-America Cattle Evaluation (PACE). Birth, weaning and yearling data have already been added to the sire profiles, as shown in Table 2. The carcass data will be added to the system and will be reflected in the genetic evaluation that was released Aug. 20, 2018. I encourage you to evaluate the changes in accuracy of the each carcass trait before and after the carcass data are added.

In most cases, the phenotypic data aligned very well, but not perfectly, with the sire EPDs — this is not out of line. It is important to remember EPDs are the best indicators of potential performance, and we can only discover genetic potential, particularly of young sires, when progeny data are added.

In summary, the 42 cattle evaluated on test graded 79 percent Choice and had an average yield grade of 3.9. This is a little past optimum but falls within industry standards, especially considering the kill weight of the cattle.

Finally, the AHA Annual Meeting and Conference, Oct. 26-28, in Kansas City, Mo., is right around the corner, and I encourage you to attend this year’s educational seminars. I would like to address a common misconception about the Annual Meeting — that only delegates can attend — and reassure you this could not be further from the truth. On Friday morning you will have the opportunity to tour the new AHA headquarters and to enjoy fellowship with our staff. The afternoon will offer four educational seminars to showcase services that can benefit your operation.

I look forward to seeing all of you this year in Kansas City.

Shane Bedwell is the director of breed improvement and chief operating officer at the American Hereford Association. He can be reached at

This article originally appeared in the September Hereford World. To view the original article, click below.


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