​ Objective

The objective of the Scheme is to supply the beef industry with objective performance information in order to improve the biological and economic efficiency of beef production through genetic improvement and improved management practices.

Beef Cattle Improvement Scheme
Animal Recording and Improvement


Structure and phases

The South African National Beef Cattle Improvement Scheme comprises seven phases, namely:

  • Reproduction phase (Phase A1)

  • Suckling phase (Phase A2)

  • Post weaning phases:

    • On-farm recordings (Phase B)

    • Central performance tests (Phase C)

    • On-farm performance tests (Phase D)

    • Feedlot recordings (Phase E1)

Reproduction Phase (Phase A1)

Reproduction and ease of calving traits of cows and bulls will be evaluated through mating and calving data.

The reproduction phase makes, except for the recording of birth information, also provision for the recording of mating and AI particulars as well as pregnancy diagnoses. The results from this data will have various benefits for those farmers who wish to record such data - in one respect for better genetic evaluation for reproduction traits and in another respect as valuable management information.

Suckling Phase (Phase A2)

Mothering ability and efficiency of the cows, and the pre-weaning growth rate of their calves, is evaluated by means of the cow weights and pre-weaning and weaning weights of their calves.

Post Weaning Phases

  • On-Farm Recordings (Phase B)
    Post weaning growth rate of young heifers, bulls and oxen is evaluated under normal farming conditions by means of their weights at 12 and 18 months age

  • Central Performance Tests (Phase C)
    C1: ARC testing centres
    C2: Private testing centres
    C3: Automated on-farm testing centres
  • Post weaning growth rate and feed conversion ratio of young bulls (and heifers in Phase C3) are evaluated by means of performance tests under standardised conditions (excluding Phase C3) at central bull testing centres where animals are fed individually

  • On-Farm Performance Tests (Phase D)
    D1: On-farm single herd growth tests
    D2: Centralized multiple herd growth tests

Post weaning growth rate of young bulls is evaluated by means of performance tests under controlled conditions on the farm of a member or a private organisation.

Feedlot Recordings (Phase E1)

Post weaning growth rate of young bulls, oxen and heifers are evaluated by means of weights under feedlot conditions.

Schematic Presentation of Phases