Bull Selection Clinics can help Producers with Decision Process PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Thursday, 11 April 2013 14:01

AMES, Iowa -- Understanding and using some simple tools can help cattle producers make the right selection for new herd bulls during upcoming bull sales. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef program specialist Denise Schwab said that’s why a bull selection clinic is scheduled prior to the Friday, May 3, bull sale held by Iowa Cattlemen’s Association (ICA) at the Tama Livestock Auction, Tama. There’s no cost to attend and no preregistration is necessary.

“Sorting through performance measures and expected progeny differences doesn’t have to be a chore or a mystery,” Schwab said. “Staff from the Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State have scheduled the clinic so attendees can make use of the information they receive at the bull sale immediately following the clinic.” The clinic will start at 4 p.m. on Friday, May 3.

The sale will feature bulls that have been through ICA’s Bull Evaluation Program, according to ICA seedstock manager Kellie Carolan. She said bulls that go through this 112-day test are evaluated for growth, carcass traits, yearling weight, disposition and scrotal circumference, and are some of the breed’s best pedigrees for calving ease, performance and carcass merit. The Tama sale will also include a group of replacement heifers for sale starting at 6 pm.

Schwab said Iowa Beef Center staff will break down the process of bull selection into simple steps and assist those attending with interpreting the EPD numbers in the catalog. Dr. Patrick Gunn, the newest addition to the ISU Extension beef team and statewide cow-calf specialist, will also present at this clinic.

“We can help you evaluate your cow herd and determine the economically relevant traits that you want to emphasize,” she said. “With that information, you can use the index EPDs and visually appraise the bulls to identify some options that will help you get the most benefit from your cow herd.”

To learn more about ICA’s Bull & Heifer Program, including a listing of bulls that will be offered at the May 3 sale, go to http://www.iacattlemen.org/bullheifer.aspx

For more information on the bull clinics, contact your Iowa State beef specialist at www.extension.iastate.edu/ag/beef

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