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Hereford Study Shows Heterosis Advantage

TAGS: Genetics
Hereford-sired calves netted a $78 advantage.

Hereford-sired calves netted a $78 advantage compared to Angus-sired calves, preliminary results of a three-year study show. The objective of the research project in coordination with California State University-Chico, Lacey Livestock, Harris Feeding Co., and Harris Ranch Beef Co. was to conduct a controlled crossbreeding system, comparing progeny sired by Hereford and Angus bulls, under commercial conditions, emphasizing economic differences at the ranch, feedlot and packing plant.

Ten Hereford bulls and 10 Angus bulls were randomly mated to 400 mature Angus-based cows. Calves were identified with electronic ID tags and DNA samples were taken to determine parentage. The differences in weaning and feedlot performance, carcass value and overall profitability were measured on the Angus- and Hereford-sired calves.

Results showed Hereford-sired calves on the ranch had a $10.80/head economic advantage, and another $14.10/head during backgrounding. The feedlot favored Hereford-sired calves to the tune of $86.10 due to differences in gain, feed efficiency, morbidity and mortality. Angus-sired calves had a significant advantage in quality grade, and a $33.27/head advantage on carcass. The net-advantage of Hereford-sired calves was $77.73/head throughout the entire production cycle.

All results are based off of one year of study. The backgrounding and feeding trials will be repeated in 2008 and 2009. The effect of maternal heterosis will be determined by tracking productivity of replacement heifers to determine lifetime productivity and profitability differences between sire groups.