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Cow Herd Appraisal Performance System
"NCBA-IRM-SPA"  Production Review System

A cooperative project between the North Dakota State University of Agriculture and Applied Science Research and Extension Service and the North Dakota Beef Cattle Improvement Association

NDBCIA Headquarters:  Dickinson Research Extension Center
1089 State Avenue, Dickinson ND  58601
contact: Kris Ringwall, (701) 483-2348

What is CHAPS III?

CHAPS III (Cow Herd Appraisal Performance System) is a state-of-the-art beef production record system designed to provide you with vital information about your managerial decisions and herd's performance.  CHAPS III was developed by the North Dakota State University Extension Service through the North Dakota Beef Cattle Improvement Association (NDBCIA) and has been reviewed and approved by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association - National Integrated Resource Management - Coordinating Committee.



Many aggressive, progressive cattle producers are utilizing the CHAPS III program.  Both commercial and registered breeders have success stories to relate on how CHAPS has met their needs in enhancing their management strategies.   Because of the comprehensive analysis and the unique features of CHAPS III, beef improvement associations and individual cattle producers from other states have purchased this program.  As a testimony to the credibility and latest technology available in this program, the program is currently being utilized by the Extension Service in 26 states.


The Value of Information

The more documented records you have available on each of your cows, the better equipped you are to make bold, decisive decisions about culling, selection and mating systems.  The managerial decisions you make today can have a huge impact on the future of your herd for many years to come.  As an aggressive cattle producer competing in today's complex beef market, you need to utilize all the tools available to reduce guesswork, adding predictability to your herd performance.  CHAPS III is one of those tools.



The NDSU Extension Service, in cooperation with the NDBCIA, provides managerial reports generated through the CHAPS III program.  These reports assist producers with total herd evaluations which are utilized in North Dakota's Integrated Resource Management (IRM) program.  A common problem with record systems is the accumulation of mounds of data with little effective utilization of the data.   The ultimate purpose of this program is to assure that each NCBA-IRM-SPA trait is balanced within the operation and evaluated simultaneously. (Go to 1998 NCBA-IRM-SPA Analysis report


The Benchmarks

For more effective utilization of individual herd data, production benchmark values utilizing the NCBA-IRM-SPA calculations were obtained from CHAPS herds.   CHAPS III compares each individual producer's performance against the benchmarks.  The benchmark values for the NCBA-IRM-SPA traits can be found at:


Cow/Calf Performance Reports

As a comprehensive analysis system, CHAPS III provides all the standard performance data as suggested by the Beef Improvement Federation (  Some of the reports can be sorted by a variety of categories as determined by the producer.   CHAPS III includes the following performance reports:


Calf listing (divided by sex)  (Click here to see samples)

Sire Summaries - Progeny Averages:

Calving Distribution

Cow Culling Report

Cow Summaries (Click here to see sample reports)

Yearling Performance Reports (Click here to see sample reports)

How Do I Get Started?

If you have never been involved in a performance and managerial evaluation before, you will first have to identify your cows and calves with an identification system of eartags or freeze-branding, etc.  The minimum records you should keep include age of cow, calf sex, birth dates, and individual or group weaning weight.

Your local county agent can help you get started and you don't even need a computer on your ranch.  If you want NDBCIA to handle the processing for you, all you have to do is report the information on the forms NDBCIA provides.  Or, if you want to process the records yourself, the CHAPS III software program is available for sale.


What Does It Cost?

NDBCIA will process your records and send you the reports for $.35 per cow, plus a $5 annual membership fee.  Laser printed reports and across year herd performance graphs are available for $.50 per cow plus a $5 annual membership fee.   The CHAPS III software program is currently available for $200 for individual use.


Computer Equipment Needed

The CHAPS III program is available as a Micro Computer Program if you would like to process your own records.  CHAPS III requires and IBM-PC or compatible microcomputer with a minimum of 3 MB of hard disk space and a PC-DOS or MS-DOS operating system, version 3.21 or higher.


Turn-Around Time

NCBCIA annually processes over 25,000 calf records from over 200 herds with an average turn-around time of 2 days.  The NDBCIA, in cooperation with the NDSU Extension Service, is equipped with state-of-the-art computer equipment.   Coupled with a professional, trained staff, the NDBCIA is committed to serving its members and the livestock industry in North Dakota.


How Do I Participate?

Simply contact your local county agent or Keith Helmuth at the NDBCIA headquarters at:

NDSU Research Extension Center
1133 State Avenue
Dickinson  ND  58601

NDBCIA will be glad to answer your questions and assist you in implementing your performance testing program.

1NDSU Extension Service, North Dakota State University of Agricultural and Applied Science, and U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating.   Sharon D. Anderson, Director, Fargo, North Dakota.  Distributed in furtherance of the Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914.  We offer our programs and facilities to all persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, Vietnam Era Veteran status, or sexual orientation; and are an equal opportunity employer.