CHAPS (Cow Herd Appraisal Performance Software) is a data intensive beef production record system designed to provide you with vital information about your managerial decisions and herd's performance. The program was developed in 1985 by NDSU Extension and the North Dakota Beef Cattle Improvement Association. CHAPS collects, stores, and evaluates individual herd data, according to Beef Improvement Federation guidelines. CHAPS data specialists compile herd data and calculate yearly averages to establish the CHAPS benchmarks: 5-year rolling averages of the yearly herd averages. CHAPS reproduction and production benchmarks include calving distribution, reproductive percentages (pregnancy, pregnancy loss, calving, calf death loss, weaning, and replacement percentages), calf growth (birth weight, weaning weight, weight per day of age, average daily gain, age at weaning, and pounds weaned per cow exposed) and production data (frame score, cow age, cow weight, and cow body condition score). As industry standards, the CHAPS benchmarks allow producers to examine numerous reproduction and production traits to evaluate herd performance, set goals, and make necessary changes to achieve these goals.

Managing What You Measure

The Cow Herd Appraisal Performance Software (CHAPS) has been used by beef producers and Extension professionals for more than 35 years. CHAPS provides industry standards and reliable data to enable producers to make informed management decisions. 

Read more about how CHAPS helps producers make informed decisions in this article, Managing what you measure: Current and historical Cow Herd Appraisal Performance Software (CHAPS) benchmarks provide reliable data for making herd management decisions, part of the 2021 North Dakota Livestock Research Report.

Try Before You Buy!

Interested in trying CHAPS before you buy it? Send an email to, with your first and last name. Once we receive your email, you will be sent a link to enroll in a two-week trial version of the program. Follow the instructions to create an account. To extend your trial period, email

To purchase CHAPS, please go to the NDSU CHAPS website and follow the links to purchase. Please note, data entered into the trial version cannot be transferred to the purchased CHAPS program.

For a detailed look at the CHAPS program, take a look at the Try CHAPS User Guide, theCHAPS User Guide and theCHAPS Codes and Calculations or watch the CHAPS Tutorial videos on YouTube

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