Circle A Ranch Heterosis Research Project
Using Hereford bulls on Angus-based cows will give producers advantages in profitability, cash flow, herd size, and retained female fertility and longevity according to a recently completed study at Circle A Angus Ranch. In fact, when the data was further analyzed for economic emphasis, the results showed an advantage of $514 net per cow over a period of 10 years. That’s a $51 difference per cow per year.
Economic models also predicted that if replacement females are retained over a period of 10 years, Hereford-sired females will generate a 20% advantage in herd size for the same relative cost versus the straight Angus commercial cows because of increased fertility and longevity.
The study, conducted by Circle A Ranch headquartered in Iberia, Mo., in cooperation with the American Hereford Association (AHA), was started in 2007. Mark Akin, Circle A Ranch manager, says, “The female side was what really peaked my interest, because we’ve bred purebred Angus for all these years, and I was curious if the heterosis from the cross would make available a better conception rate for us, and it did.”
To start the project Circle A Ranch AI-bred 600 commercial Angus cows to 10 Hereford bulls with the goal of comparing the best of its Angus herd to the best of the Hereford-Angus cross. The control group included progeny from three proven Angus sires. The average expected progeny differences (EPDs) of the Angus sires would place them in the top 30% of the Angus breed for birth weight and top 20% of the breed for weaning weight. All of the cows and resulting calves were commingled and managed the same.
Vern Pierce Report
“Project Proves Profitability of Hereford Angus Cross” July 2009 Hereford World