Participation in the National Beef Performance Testing Scheme is important to the Society for the progress of the breed. Without measurement both the present situation and the future direction are unknown. 96 of the 134 registered breeders participate in the Scheme.
When one looks at the various weights, dramatic movements have taken place in the Angus breed. Fertility remains the most important trait in any production system. Here too, good progress has been made.
According to the 2004 Performance Test Results of the ARC, Angus compared as follows with breeds supporting the Intergis:
Age at first calving - 32.6 (national average 34.1)
Intercalving period – 421 days (national average 428)
cow weight at calving – 516 kg (national average, 493)
cow weight at weaning – 515 kg (national average – 512 kg)
ADG 1 832 (national average, 1 754)
Conversely there has been an excellent increase of 39 kg in weaning mass. The 12 months and 18 months masses also increased by 31kg and 46kg respectively, which are well above the national averages for all breeds.
Considering cow mass and efficiency (weaning mass as a percentage of cow mass) Angus cows have increased in size but have become more efficient. This means more growth, but also more milk. Angus cows weaned an average of 44.4% of own mass, which is the same as the national average.
Summarising it can be said that Angus has made tremendous progress as a breed by maintaining birth mass below the national average, while other growth figures have improved dramatically above national averages. The breed’s unsurpassed fertility has also improved.
Each year, top producing cows that conform to certain production standards are identified per breed. In 1992, 2,5% of all the Angus females were top producers. This was the highest of all breeds. The closest breed to Angus had 1,6% top producers.
Research on the feed requirements for maintenance of four different breed types of cows indicated that Angus Hereford had lower maintenance requirements than other breeds, despite a much bigger difference in actual cow mass. This proves the point that Angus is a low maintenance, top mother cow breed.