A Computer Approach to Performing MPPA Testing
In the highly competitive cattle market of today a scientific method, by which a rancher can base a judgement, moderated by experience as to which animals are to be kept, as proven by superior performance, can be a valuable asset.
This record performance testing system was designed to demonstrate the value of adequately kept records. Its purpose is to help ranchers develop records of herd performance, inventory, and improve management practices by more informed decisions. The system, through its representative, provides a means by which ranchers can obtain information on new ideas in animal production, health, sanitation, nutrition, management practices, and new record testing methods showing the results of their use and meaning.
The procedure used is based on the recommendations of the Beef Improvement Federation. The three test result summaries printed are (1) Weaning; (2) Yearling; and (3) Dam. An inventory of the herd is generated showing, in addition to performance, those not producing a calf, and those calves which did not have enough data for processing.
The test results will list different amounts of valuable information. According to each individual test, the results are:
(1) Weaning: The calf's weight both actual and adjusted, (two hundred five (205) days of age), wean weight ratio, and weight per day of age at weaning. Also provided is a ranking of best to worst, by actual and adjusted weight.
(2) Yearling: Lists weight, actual and adjusted (one hundred sixty days between wean and year dates), weight gained between wean and year tests, average daily gain, and weight per day of age at yearling. Ranking of best to worst is of two kinds by actual yearling weight and by adjusted yearling weight.
(3) Dam: Number of calves in record, total wean weight accumulated, and previous Most Portable Producing Ability (MPPA) score. There is a ranking of best dam to worst dam, based on current MPPA scores.
All test results include herd averages for most valuable data (i.e.; weight, MPPA scores, etc.).
This is but one type of a computer method of handling a cattle record system. The system was programmed and placed in operation, limited only by the physical size of the computer at the time of its programming. The system is in operation on the Burroughs 6700 computer system at the Utah State University campus.
This full system was accomplished by first modifying the calf performance testing and then programming the MPPA testing routines.