All stud breeders and commercial producers of beef and dual-purpose cattle may participate in the Scheme. All that is needed is a reliable cattle scale and basic handling facilities. Further more, all animals in the herd must be identified and calves recorded at birth.

Beef Cattle Improvement Scheme
Animal Recording and Improvement


It is only compulsory to participate in the Reproduction phase (Phase A1), if mating and calving data is recorded. This rule is mainly aimed at making it possible for farmers who have the sole purpose of improving the reproduction performance of their herd in mind, to participate in the Scheme. The majority of farmers however, also want to evaluate the production potential of their cows. For these farmers participation in at least the Reproduction and the Suckling phases is compulsory. This includes the recording of calving data and weaning weights. In this case, the recording of mating data is optional.

It is however important to note that participation in both the Reproduction Phase and the Suckling Phase are compulsory in order to be able to register for the use of the "ARC-Performance Tested" trademark.

Participation in Phase B (post wean on-farm recordings), Phase C (central performance tests), Phase D (on-farm performance tests) and Phase E, remains optional.

Although some breeder's societies constitutionally enforce their members to participate in the Scheme, the decision on which phases to participate in and which recordings to done within each phase, rest in the hands of the individual farmer. As far as Phases A and B are concerned, the ARC-Animal Improvement Institute recommends that the following data/weights are recorded where possible:

  • Mating lists and AI data
  • Calving data
  • Birth weights
  • Weaning weights
  • Cow weights
  • 12 and/or 18 months weights (of all animals not participating in Phases C or D)


Reproduction phase (Phase A1)

All animals in the herd of a member of the Scheme should participate in Phase A1.


Suckling phase (Phase A2)

All animals that have participated in the Reproduction phase, may participate in Phase A2.


On-farm recordings (Phase B)

All animals that have participated in the Reproduction and Suckling phases may participate in Phase B.


Central performance tests (Phase C)

 

Standardised tests at ARC test centres (Phase C1) &

 

Standardised tests at private test centres (Phase C2)

  • Members who actively participate in the Reproduction and Suckling phases of the Scheme shall be allowed to enter bull calves for testing in Phases C1 and C2. Such bull calves should be eligible for registration or recording. Grade bull calves shall only be allowed for testing if it is approved by the breeders’ society concerned.
  • Bull calves shall only be eligible for testing if the owner can certify that these bull calves have been immunized against anthrax, botulism, black-quarter and lumpy skin disease and bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) two weeks prior to arrival at the Phase C centre. Immunisation against gall-sickness, red water and heart water, although not compulsory, is recommended.
  • Only bull calves 151 to 250 days of age at arrival of which the arrival weight falls within the minimum and maximum range per breed (see Schedule B), as determined from time to time by the Director, shall be accepted for testing. The arrival weight will be calculated as the average of two consecutive days’ weights.
  • Note: Members are recommended to test at least three bulls per weaning group together in these phases. It is also highly recommended that these bulls be the progeny of at least two sires of which at least one sire is a linking sire, in other words a sire of which one or more progeny has already been tested in a Phase C test.

Non-standardised central tests at ARC or private test centres (Phase C3)

  • Members actively participating in the Reproduction and Suckling phases of the Scheme shall be entitled to enter bull calves and/or heifer calves for testing in Phase C3. Such calves should be the progeny of sires that are registered or recorded.
  • A test shall only be regarded as official or supervised by the Institute if at least 10 bull calves or heifer calves per test per breed comprising registerable, recordable or grade calves which were approved by the Director, complete the test.
  • Only calves 151 to 250 days of age at arrival and where the difference between the lightest and heaviest calves does not exceed the following weights at the commencement of adaptation, shall be accepted:

 

BREEDMAXIMUM WEIGHT VARIATION
Afrikaner, Dexter, Nguni, Sanganer, Tuli45 kg
Bonsmara, Boran, Braford, Brahman, Drakensberger, Galloway50 kg
Hereford , Huguenot, North Devon, S A Angus, Beef Shorthorn50 kg
Sussex , Beefmaster, Brangus, Pinzgauer, Red Poll55 kg
Braunvieh, Charolais, Gelbvieh, Limousin, Romagnola60 kg
Santa Gertrudis, Simbra, Simmentaler, South Devon60 kg
  • The calves should be free from hereditary defects.
  • Calves should be immunized against anthrax, botulism, black-quarter and lumpy skin disease before dispatch to the testing centre. Immunisation against gall-sickness, red water and heart water, although not compulsory, is recommended.
  • The automated feeding stations which are coupled to a computer should be approved by the Director and comprise of at least two stations per pen with a maximum of 10 bulls or heifers per station. The electricity supply should be uninterrupted by the provision of stand-by units.
  • The pen area should make allowance for at least 10 square metres per animal.
  • Only a complete growth diet, similar to the Phase C1 and C2 diet, shall be allowed.

On-farm performance tests (Phase D)

 

Single herd tests (Phase D1) &

 

Multiple herd tests (Phase D2)

  • Members actively participating in the Reproduction and Suckling phases of the Scheme shall be entitled to enter bull calves for testing in Phase D. Such bull calves should be the progeny of sires that are registered or recorded.
  • A Phase D test shall only be regarded as official or be supervised by the Institute if at least 10 bull calves per breed comprising registerable, recordable or grade bull calves which were approved for a test by the Director, complete the test.
  • The ages of the bull calves in a test group should not vary by more than 100 days with a maximum individual age of 365 days when adaptation commences.
  • For Phase D2 the empty stomach body weight difference between the lightest and heaviest bull calf at the commencement of adaptation shall not exceed the maximum as stipulated in the following table (Note: No restrictions on weight variation for Phase D1):
BREEDMAXIMUM WEIGHT VARIATION
Afrikaner, Dexter, Nguni, Sanganer, Tuli65 kg
Bonsmara, Boran, Braford, Brahman, Drakensberger, Galloway75 kg
Hereford , Huguenot, North Devon, S A Angus, Beef Shorthorn, Sussex , Beefmaster, Brangus, Pinzgauer, Red Poll80 kg
Braunvieh, Charolais, Gelbvieh, Limousin, Romagnola, Santa Gertrudis, Simbra, Simmentaler, South Devon85 kg
  • The bull calves should be free of hereditary defects and be acceptable to the Director.
  • Bull calves should be immunized against anthrax, botulism, black-quarter and lumpy skin disease, before dispatch to the testing centre. Immunisation against gall-sickness, red water and heart water, although not compulsory, is recommended.

Feedlot recordings (Phase E1)

Members participating in the Reproduction and Suckling phases shall be allowed to tests young oxen, bulls and heifers in Phase E1.