KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Despite back-to-back years of drought and escalating costs in the beef industry, the Hereford breed is making a mighty resurgence. Hereford registrations were up more than 8% during the 2012 American Hereford Association (AHA) fiscal year that ended Aug. 31. Registered cow herd inventories are up 3% compared to the previous year — with more than 101,000 females reported this fiscal year.
Hereford breeders continue to experience a dramatic increase in production sale prices while reports of private-treaty sales continue to out-pace the previous year reports.
A total of 182 Hereford production sales were reported by AHA field representatives this fiscal year. Bull sales averaged $4,671, up nearly $700 and females $3,329, up almost $300 per head.
The second largest cattle breed in the U.S., Hereford reports 70,260 registrations and 37,091 transfers with 101,021 cows on inventory. The Association has 3,455 active adult members and 2,263 active junior members.
Hereford semen demand in the commercial industry is also increasing. According to the National Association of Animal Breeders (NAAB), Hereford semen sales increased 23% over last year. Since 2006 Hereford domestic semen sales has increased 86% a testament to the increasing demand for Hereford genetics in the commercial industry.
Helping with this progress in the commercial industry has been the AHA’s Whole Herd Total Performance Records (TPR™) program. Now 11 years old, the program has helped the AHA and Hereford breeders build a database that documents the breed’s strengths. More and more Hereford breeders continue to go above status quo and submit ultrasound data, body condition scores, udder scores and cow weights, which all add to the integrity and accuracy of the AHA database.
“Because the AHA Board of Directors placed a resource emphasis on breed improvement and industry research, the Hereford breed now has the single largest database for cow fertility and productivity
in the world, and we have documented the inherent economic traits in the breed that can deliver efficiency to the industry at a time when the industry needs it most,” says Craig Huffhines, AHA executive vice president. “More importantly, congratulations to our AHA membership for adopting technology and making the strides in genetic improvement that have positioned Hereford has a breed of choice for commercial producers looking to add heterosis to their Angus-based cow herds.