Cattle producers looking for their new herd bull at upcoming bull sales can use some simple tools to make a good selection.
“Sorting through performance measures and Expected Progeny Differences doesn’t have to be a chore or a mystery,” says Denise Schwab, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef program specialist.
ISU’s Iowa Beef Center staff will hold bull selection clinics prior to three bull sales the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association will hold in Bloomfield, Dunlap and Tama this spring. These sales will feature spring and fall bulls that have been through the Bull Evaluation Program that ICA has conducted for 28 years.
“Bulls that go through our 112-day test are evaluated for growth, carcass traits, yearling weight, disposition and scrotal circumference,” says Kellie Carolan, ICA seedstock manager. The bulls at each sale are some of the breed’s best pedigrees for calving ease, performance and carcass merit, she says.
The bull selection clinics will begin two hours before each sale. IBC staff will break down the process of bull selection into simple steps and assist those attending with interpreting the EPD numbers in the catalog. “We can help you evaluate your cow herd and determine the economically relevant traits that you want to emphasize.” Schwab says. There will be time to visually appraise the bulls, too.
Dates, times and locations of the clinics are: March 18, 4:30 p.m., Bloomfield Auction Market, Bloomfield; March 22, 4:30 p.m., Dunlap Livestock Auction, Dunlap; and May 3, 4 p.m. Tama Livestock Auction, Tama (open heifers that have also been evaluated will also be on this sale).
To see a listing of bulls that will be offered at each of the 2013 sales, go to www.iacattlemen.org, and under the ICA Programs tab you will find the Bull and Heifer Evaluation program. Click on that to see the catalog and available videos of the bulls.
For more information on the bull clinics, contact your ISU beef specialist or Kellie Carolan at ICA, (515) 296-2266. Also call Carolan for specific questions about the bull sales.
About the Iowa Cattlemen's Association: The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association represents 9,600 beef-producing families and associated companies dedicated to the future of Iowa’s beef industry. ICA’s mission is “Grow Iowa’s beef business through advocacy, leadership and education.”