New Hereford magazines champions heterosis

August 10, 2023

– The American Hereford Association (AHA) launched a new publication in August — Baldy Advantage — highlighting the experiences and insights of commercial cow-calf producers using Hereford-sired baldy cattle to their benefit.

“Heterosis is tough to beat and harder to ignore in commercial cow-calf production,” says Bill Goehring, AHA president. “Commercial producers’ firsthand experience across decades backs up the research documenting the many production and economic benefits of hybrid vigor. The same can be said of research and experience verifying the added value of using Hereford genetics to optimize direct and maternal heterosis.” Goehring and his family raise Hereford seedstock, run commercial cows and operate a sale barn near Libertyville, Iowa.

Direct heterosis in first-generation (F1) crossbred cattle offers multiple advantages compared to the average of straightbred parents. Among them: increased survivability to weaning, increased feed efficiency, weaning weight and yearling weight.

Maternal heterosis benefits shine even brighter when comparing F1 breeding females to the average of straightbred parents. Among them: increased longevity, calving rate, number of calves and cumulative weaning weight of calves weaned.

Breed choice in complementary crossbreeding can extend the advantage of maternal and direct heterosis even more. Besides its unique genetic strengths, Hereford is the least related of the Bos Taurus breeds, according to the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center. This offers added hybrid punch, another reason why commercial cow-calf producers commonly tout the virtues of venerable Hereford-sired F1 baldies.

“The commercial producers we serve recognize the extra production efficiency and added market leverage that come with Hereford-sired baldy calves,” explains Wyatt Agar, AHA vice president. “Baldy Advantage furthers AHA’s commitment to the commercial producer. It’s an opportunity to share more information about baldy cattle, be they black baldies, red baldies or tiger stripes.” Agar and his family raise Hereford seedstock, run commercial cows and operate a backgrounding operation near Thermopolis, Wyo.

Each issue of Baldy Advantage includes news, industry analysis and market information of interest to commercial cattle producers. It will be published four times each year. AHA invites commercial producers to request a free copy of Baldy Advantage with the opportunity to sign-up for a free three-year subscription.  Call 816-842-3757 or email

Southern Livestock

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