Southern Information Day 18 Feb'22

Benchmark Programme





The Boehringer Ingelheim Hereford benchmark programme has a truly commercial focus; recognising elite Hereford animals that display excellence in fertility and longevity – both profit-generating traits of significant importance to the beef industry.

The tight criteria set for the Boehringer Ingelheim benchmark awards continues to identify only the highest performing females in the Hereford breed. It’s interesting to witness the gradual shift in the parameters, which is entered into ILR2 in order to compute the results. Only two years ago the top 20% of Trans-Tasman Hereford analysis for Hereford Prime and export maternal indexes were 120 and 120, however when calculated earlier this year, they were 128 and 127 respectively. In addition, the maternal value cut-off for benchmark dams, which were top 10% for five-year-old dams earlier this year, was 39.5 while in 2019 it was only 37.

While there were no new platinum benchmark dams, congratulations to the Morrison, Chesterman and Douglas families for their dams, which have transitioned from being silver to gold benchmark dams this year, and to the Ward family with their dam Kairaumati Pearl 1155 making a leap from standard to gold.

With the use of this selection, commercial farmers can select proven superior genetics to use within their breeding operations. The programme is profit-driven and recognises cows that produce a live calf, unassisted, on time, each year, and rear that calf to an average or above average weaning weight.

The profit-driven ($ value) of the 2020 selection indexes, Hereford Prime and export maternal indexes incorporated into the benchmark qualifying criteria, reinforces the purpose of the benchmark programme: to identify those superior, high-performing cattle.

By going to the technical tab or clicking ‘online search’ on the NZ Herefords website, beef breeders can search for the full list of benchmark animals, their EBVs, pedigrees, and owners’ contact details.

Note: only new silver benchmark dams are listed this year. For a comprehensive list of benchmark dams refer to the NZ Herefords website,


The 2021 benchmark animal qualifying criteria is as follows:

Benchmark Dams

1.     First calf before three years and one month of age.

2.     Average calving interval of 391 for first three calves, 382 for first four calves, 378 for first five calves and 375 for first six calves.

3.     Maternal value in top 10% of Trans-Tasman Hereford analysis.

4.     Calves must be reared by own dam, have a 200-day weight entered and dam must have a registered calf born no more than two years prior to current group run cutoff.

5.     Calving ease direct in top 85% of Trans-Tasman Hereford analysis.

6.     In the top 20% of Trans-Tasman Hereford analysis for export/maternal and Hereford Prime/maternal selection indexes.

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Platinum Dams

The dam of three benchmark dams. Can be any combination of gold, silver or standard.

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Gold Benchmark Dams

1.     Seven or more calves with calving interval averaging no more than 373 days.

2.     Other criteria as for benchmark dams.

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Silver Benchmark Dams

1.     First calf before two years and two months.

2.     Other criteria as for benchmark dams.

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Benchmark Sires

Sires having produced three or more benchmark dams.

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Benchmark Dam Breeders

Breeders of five or more benchmark dams.  

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75 South Street , PO Box 503,
Feilding 4740, New Zealand.
P. +64 6 323 0745
F. +64 6 323 3878

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