NAAB Uniform Coding System

The purpose of the NAAB Uniform Coding system for Identifying Semen is to provide a unique code number for each bull that includes:

  1. identification of the source of the semen (the organization that produced and/or processed the semen),
  2. identification of the breed of the bull, and
  3. a code number identifying each respective bull within breed within each AI organization or marketing company.

It is recognized that the official registry identification (ID) number for each bull is a unique number. However, it does not identify the source of the semen and in some cases is not readily recognizable by the breed. Experience has proven that individual herd owners, managers, and technicians prefer to use a more familiar code instead of the registry ID number when identifying a sire used. As different segments of the NAAB Uniform Code have specific meanings, the NAAB code is much easier to remember and more recognizable by all aspects of the industry.

The NAAB Uniform Code was originally developed for use by commercial AI organizations for identification of semen as it is exchanged and sold throughout the industry. In addition, the AI requirements of the Purebred Dairy Cattle Association (PDCA) require a code identifying the source of dairy sire semen on each individual unit. Certified Semen Services (CSS) also requires all participating AI businesses to label each breeding unit of semen produced by them with the elements of the NAAB Uniform Code. There are other needs for a code number identifying the source of semen.

Incomplete sire identification by registry ID number in Dairy Herd Improvement (DHI) records has been a concern for years because of the significant loss of records that otherwise would be available for genetic evaluations. Many herd owners and managers use the NAAB Uniform Code numbers instead of registry ID when completing production record forms. Thus, it is logical that the NAAB Uniform Code be a unique designation that can be linked to the correct registry ID number by use of a cross-reference listing of each bull (i.e., the bull's NAAB Uniform Code number is cross-referenced to his registry ID number). For this purpose, the complete NAAB Uniform Code, including NAAB-ICAR Stud Location Codes or NAAB Marketing Codes, breed identification and individual bull number, must be unique for each bull. This system is being employed by the Dairy Record Processing Centers and is valuable for accurate collection of data for dairy and beef genetic evaluations.

All NAAB Uniform Codes assigned to dairy or beef bulls by a semen production or processing business must be reported to NAAB and enrolled in the dairy or beef cross reference database. The annual usage statements confirm that organizations that are licensed to use the NAAB-ICAR Stud Location Code and/or the NAAB Marketing Code as a part of the NAAB Uniform code, agree to report this information as determined by the NAAB Board of Directors.

When a NAAB Marketing Code is used in the NAAB Uniform Code as substitute for the NAAB-ICAR Stud Location Code, the latter must also be printed on the straw separate from the NAAB Uniform Code and standing alone.

The NAAB Uniform Code for Identifying Semen consists of a maximum of ten characters according to the following combination scheme where either the NAAB-ICAR Stud Location Code or the NAAB Marketing Code precede the subsequent breed code:

NAAB-ICAR Stud Location Code (Stud Code) Indicates the semen producing organization (stud) that collected and processed the semen. Stud Code numbers are assigned by the NAAB to its member organizations and other semen producing and processing organizations where warranted. It is comprised of up to three numeric characters. These numbers will be 499 and lower. The Stud Code number is linked to the Controller Number used in the NAAB Cross Reference database.

NAAB Marketing Code(Marketing Code) Identifies a qualifying semen marketing business or organization that has the contractual right to market semen from the bull with an NAAB Uniform Code, that includes the NAAB Marketing Code Number. These numbers will be 500 or greater. [Maximum of three characters.] Note: Any individual or business applying for a NAAB Marketing Code must first obtain a Stud Code number if they qualify. The NAAB Marketing Code is linked to the Controller Number used in the NAAB Cross Reference database.

Breed Code Indicates the breed of the bull. Dairy breed codes are two alphabetic characters and consistent with codes designated by USDA for the DHI program. Changes in dairy breed codes should be made only upon mutual agreement of the NAAB, CDCB, PDCA, and DHI computing centers. Beef breed codes are two alphabetic characters and are assigned by NAAB in conjunction with Agriculture Canada and the Canadian AI industry. [Maximum of two characters.]

Bull Code Indicates the respective bull's number assigned by the AI organization collecting and/or processing the semen or as requested by the Controller if they have a unique NAAB Marketing Code. Bull codes should be numeric codes with a maximum of five characters from 1 to 99999. All leading zeros should be omitted.



  • 7 = Stud Code and/or NAAB Marketing Code for Select Sires
  • HO = Breed code for Holstein
  • 13250 = Bull code for S-S-I MONTROSS JEDI-ET, Registry ID No. 840003123886035


  • 109 = Stud code for Reproduction Enterprises, Inc.
  • SM = Breed code for Simmental
  • 284 = Bull code for BLACK KNIGHT US, Registry ID No. USA000001138189


  • 511 = Sorted Semen Marketing Code for Alta Genetics
  • BS = Breed code for Brown Swiss
  • 701 = Bull code for RENAISSANCE ALTATRAY-ET, Registry ID No. USA000068195066
  • 11 = Stud Code where semen was produced


  • 629 = Sexed Semen Marketing Code for ABS Global
  • JE = Breed code for Jersey
  • 4204 = Bull code for JX DODAN LH TROOPER {4}, Registry ID No. 840003203116924
  • 29 = Stud Code where semen was produced

If a bull is assigned a unique NAAB Uniform Code that is associated with the organization that markets the semen and the bull is transferred to a second AI organization for collection and semen processing, the NAAB Uniform Code for the bull can remain the same. However, the NAAB Stud Location Number printed on the semen straw must reflect the NAAB Stud Location Code where the semen is produced.



Revised January 27, 2020