How does your herd stack up?

Benchmarking is a unique tool that allows producers to compare their enterprise’s strengths and weaknesses to other herds. In addition, it can help provide insight where improvements could be made to areas such as management, genetic selection, or herd health programs. In order to make improvements in the cow herd, it is important to know where we are coming from and measure growth overtime, as you can’t manage what you don’t measure.

North Dakota State University Extension’s Cow Herd Appraisal Performance Software (more commonly known as the CHAPS program) utilizes cow-calf producer data to generate benchmark values annually.

Using these benchmarks is a good place to start comparing herd performance. Yet, once data has been collected for a number of years on your own operation, creating and comparing to your own set of benchmarks will be a more accurate representation of herd changes.

Read all of this article in the Iowa Cattleman magazine.