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Interpreting New Zealand Hereford Selection Indexes

New Zealand Herefords currently report three different selection indexes.  These are the:

  • Hereford Prime Index
  • Beef Heifer Index
  • Dairy Beef Index

Each selection index describes a different production/market scenario and relates to a typical commercial herd using Hereford bulls. Producers are advised to use the selection index that most closely aligns to their production system. Each selection indexes is focused on efficient beef production, including maternal traits where appropriate. In addition, each selection index targets the following specifications.

Hereford Prime Index - Estimates the genetic differences between animals in net profitability per mixed age cow joined for a typical self-replacing commercial herd where Hereford bulls are joined to either Hereford or other British breed females and targeting the production of grass finished steers for the Hereford Prime program. Selected heifers are retained for breeding and so maternal traits are of importance. Steers target 550 kg live weight (300 kg carcase weight & 7 mm P8 fat) at 20 months of age, and heifers 475 kg (260 kg carcase weight & 8 mm fat depth), at 22 months of age.

Beef Heifer Index - Estimates the genetic differences between animals in net profitability per yearling heifer joined for a typical self-replacing commercial herd where Hereford bulls are joined to either Hereford or other British breed heifers. Selected heifers are retained for breeding and so maternal traits are of importance. Steers target 510 kg live weight (280 kg HSCW and 7 mm P8 fat depth) and heifers 450 kg (250 kg HSCW and 8 mm P8 fat depth) at 20 months of age.

Dairy Beef Index - Estimates the genetic differences between animals in net profitability per mixed age dairy cow joined with all progeny destined for slaughter. Steers and heifer progeny target 550 kg live weight (300 kg carcase weight and 6 mm fat depth) at 24 months of age and at 475 kg live weight (260 kg carcase weight and 7 mm fat depth) at 22 months, respectively.

All selection indexes are reported as an EBV, in units of net profit per cow mated ($) for a given production/market scenario. They reflect both the short term profit generated by a sire through the sale of his progeny, and the longer term profit generated by his daughters in a self-replacing cow herd (where applicable).

All selection index values have been derived using BreedObject technology. More detailed information regarding each selection index is provided in the downloadable document.

 

If you have any further queries regarding the New Zealand Hereford Selection Indexes, please do not hesitate to contact staff at the New Zealand Herefords or your BREEDPLAN processing centre.