Nov. 29 2011 05:15 AM

Sire summaries are released next week. A new group of genomic bulls will have their information published and older bulls will graduate to the ranks of daughter proven.

Both will vie for your semen-purchasing attention. Knowing where to access the information and how to interpret the data is important in your ability to use the data to its best advantage. USDA-AIPL, that calculates production-related sire summary data displays the latest information on all nontype related sire summary data on its website.

Type data is handled through each breed association. Each breed association disseminates information at different levels, depending on the user – general producers, its members, and affiliate businesses. Some material is available at no charge, while others charge a nominal fee for basic information, and a premium charge for more extensive data.

Hoard's Dairyman prepares its bull list and will have it posted on our website on Thursday, December 8, 2011. New December sire summary information can be found at the breed's websites.

Each breed varies in the data that they make available online. Holstein Association's genetic reports on new genetic data get posted here. They also have a video on how their sire summary data is organized (also known as the "Redbook")

The American Jersey Cattle Association compiles their information in a "Green Book" This data is free and contains extensive information on the Jersey bull population. Currently, August 2011 data is there, so watch for updates with the December sire summaries next week.

To access new pedigree information, AJCA also has InfoJersey where Official Performance Pedigrees and other animal reports can be accessed (with a password).

The American Guernsey Association has a page with genetic evaluation and production information on its website. Visit to learn more on this breed's genetics.

Animal inquiry information is also available from the Ayrshire Breeders' Association, and gain access to pedigrees at the joint log-in for Brown Swiss and Milking Shorthorns.

The Red & White Dairy Cattle Association provides a summary of the top Red and Red Carrier bulls on their site. The two largest breed associations, Holstein Association USA and the American Jersey Cattle Association each have produced a "How to read a pedigree" fact sheet. While the general look of pedigrees have not changes over the years, but the depth and variety of the information certainly has.

With sire summary data changing three times each year, plus additional genomic updates each month, it can be a challenge to stay abreast of all the changes. These educational fact sheets can also help young people when evaluating pedigrees if they plan to make a project purchase at spring sales. When they understand the pedigree information in the sale catalog (or pedigree for a private treaty sale), they can feel like they are contributing to the purchasing decision. By being part of the initial decision, they become more emotionally vested in the calf, the responsibilities, and the industry. And it's always a good idea for the "young at heart" to stay informed on the latest information, as well.

If you currently do not have passwords set with your breed association, you have a few days to get one, so come sire summary time, you will be fully prepared.