With more emphasis being focused on the direct correlation between fertility and environmental sustainability, as well as financial productivity, it is likely that the Boehringer Ingelheim Benchmark sires and dams will become even more sought after by breeders and commercial buyers of registered Herefords. The awards highlight the very top performing females in the NZ Herefords gene pool, by recognizing those cows that get in calf every year and continue to produce quality calves year after year.
Last year, 2022 Benchmark Awards were updated as a result of updating the selection indexes the previous year, which is when the technical committee introduced all Benchmark dams must have their first calf before two years and three months of age. This reflects yearling heifer mating becoming the usual practice for the majority of commercial farms when Hereford genetics are used. This now means the four tiers of Benchmark dams can be described as the following;
Benchmark Dam: meets the Benchmark criteria after three or four calves.
Silver Benchmark Dam: meets the Benchmark criteria after five or six calves.
Gold Benchmark Dam: meets the Benchmark criteria after seven or more calves.
Platinum Benchmark Dam: Dam of three or more Benchmark Dams.
Other improvements to the Benchmark awards include, all cow’s calves require a birth weight to be recorded and the use of the new Hereford Prime and Beef Heifer indexes.
The Benchmark awards also recognise:
Bulls that have sired three or more Benchmark dams.
Those breeders who have bred five or more Benchmark dams.
All the dams that have qualified under the new criteria are listed on the following pages. To find a full list of benchmark animals, refer to the ‘technical’ tab or click ‘online search’, on the NZ Herefords website: www.herefords.co.nz