WHPR (Whole Herd Performance Recording) is the ICBF on-farm program for recording weights and traits on pedigree animals. It involves the weighing of all pedigree animals in a herd (except heavy in calf cows), once a year. Animals are also linear scored for a variety of important traits such as docility, loin development and teat length. This data is then used in the calculation of their €uro-Stars which will be more accurate because of the data being recorded on them in such a large group size.
The ICBF WHPR Program now has 752 Pedigree Breeders participating in its performance recording program. The numbers of Breeders from each breed are as follows: Angus:77, Aubrac:25, Blonde:6, Blue:4, Charolais:161, Hereford:30, Limousin:337, Piedmontese:4, Parthenaise:12, Salers:15, Shorthorn:21, Simmental:61.
Participating Breeders sign up voluntarily and want to show that the data recording carried out in their herds (Dates of Birth etc) is done with the utmost accuracy & transparency.
‘We are delighted with how the program is progressing. It’s a voluntary program. Given the importance of €uro-Stars at sale time, breeders are rightly seeing it as an excellent way to make the stars of their animals more accurate. As regards the Limousin breed, their Breeders have a long history of scoring and weighing and for 90% of them in WHPR, they were all scoring and weighing for society sales over the years, long before WHPR began. Limousin Breeders, like all other pedigree breeders need to ensure that their animals have the most accurate possible €uro-Stars regardless of whether they are sold at home or at a sale. Being in WHPR achieves this.” Pat Donnellan, ICBF.
Two incentives to take part in WHPR that are gaining momentum are ‘Gene Ireland’ and the ‘Stockbull Finder’. ‘Gene Ireland’ provides an opportunity for a Breeder to get their best young bull on ‘Replacement Index’ selected for progeny testing and if successful, will have his semen made available for pedigree matings.
The ‘Stockbull Finder’ is the online bull sales section on the ICBF website. After a WHPR visit, all of the young pedigree bulls in a Breeder’s herd are automatically advertised for sale. It is in fact the only search engine for young Stockbulls in Ireland where all of the bulls have been independently weighed by ICBF. A growing number of breeders are reporting sales from it, as bull buyers become more aware of it.