Agricultural Extension Service, South Dakota State College
This circular has been prepared to assist in answering the increasing number of questions being asked by producers of commercial and purebred cattle about the methods, principles and values of the Performance Test for beef cattle. Performance testing is nothing new. Improvement in livestock ever since the beginning of the various breeds, has been due to some form of performance test. Such tests have been based on either observation or some form of records. Knowledge of underlying principles and the relative value of different methods has, until recent years, been lacking in beef cattle testing. Research projects conducted during the past 25 or 30 years, at various experiment stations have furnished a great amount of data. This data has been used to develop the basic methods and principles which must be followed if a performance test is to adequately serve its purpose. A performance test for beef cattle may be simple or quite elaboratedepending on the interest of the operator and the objectives of his improvement program. An operator may be interested only in data on weaning weights; or he may want to combine such data w:ith information on any or all of the following factors: birth weights, rate of gain, efficiency of gain, weight at 12 months, weight at 15 to 18 months and type scores.
Holzman, Henry, "Beef Performance Testing on Farm and Ranch" (1958). SDSU Extension Circulars. 659.