19 CALF News • February | March 2022 • Recently, numbers have been up to 60 herds and 17,000 cows. The average herd enrolled in CHAPS numbers 300 and the maximum is 1,000 head. Although Ringwall probably wrote some articles promoting his creation, most customer expansion has taken place by word of mouth. States included in the client base are Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Montana, Kansas and Massachusetts. It is my personal observation that several purebred programs have data on so many traits that your basic commercial producer can’t or doesn’t have time to decipher them all. If you want to be confused, look at some dairy numbers. Their data exceeds all others in a mindboggling skill set. CHAPS, however, stays within the NDBCIA standards and has not added many more traits. It calculates only information that is supplied by the producer – mostly reproduction, calving and growth. It is not intended to be a “cause and effect,” only to regurgitate data provided by the client. Therefore, management and genetic impact are evaluated. Where Is It Going? CHAPS has been maintaining its basic program since 2000. The next step is turning it into a web-based app. It is an overhaul, maintaining the core functions of the original program. It will enable the system to be used at home by subscribers in an easier way, and will have chuteside capability. A phone app will also be available so your calving book can be stored in your pocket. You will have access to information on all cow records in the field, and, if you wish, eliminate the transfer of records from paper to computer. This method has become the “comfort zone” for a younger generation of cattlemen. Of course, you can still send your papers in to Lee Tisor. Cost for the software program is a one-time charge of $300. If Tisor enters the data via paper into the program, there is a $1-per-head fee. The webbased app is a $100 annual subscription. Benchmarks Do you think your cow herd is really remarkable? We did, until we received our first benchmark report. It summarizes averages over all enrolled CHAPS herds each fall, so you can compare your cattle to everyone else’s. A herd is included in the benchmark report if it has at least 50 cows enrolled for three consecutive years. The report is figured over a fiveyear rolling average. It reports progress made in rates of pregnancy, number of live calves born, percent of calves weaned, birth weight and weaning weight. We found out our herd is satisfactory in production, but the benchmark report is guaranteed to keep your feet on the ground. Zach Carlson A special thank you to Zach Carlson, Ph.D., NDSU Extension beef cattle specialist, for providing a great interview. “Regardless of the operation, keeping detailed records is not a fun task, but one that should make the information work for you, so you can see the results of your management,” he says. “Keep the end in mind.” Carlson is based in Fargo, N.D., and attained his master’s degree and Ph.D. 800-747-4538 • Compared to VITAL E®-A+D, it provides 66% more Vitamin E, 500% more Vitamin D, and the most “bioavailable form” of Vitamin A. VITAL E®-Newborn Beneficial for Vitamin A and E deficiencies in newborn calves born during winter, early-spring and drought conditions. ® Research-based Solutions . . . for Animal Nutrition Needs Stuart_Beef_Qrt_2022.indd 1 12/27/21 1:09 PM Continued on page 26 