No bull: Proper sire selection vital to beef herd performance

March 22, 2011

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A Purdue Extension and Indiana Beef Evaluation Program open house, workshop and sale will help producers tackle the vital task of selecting the right bulls for their beef herds.

Beef producers will have the chance to look at bulls, visit with fellow producers and attend presentations about bull selection during the April 7 open house at the Feldun-Purdue Agriculture Center, 923 State Road 458, Bedford. Participants can view bulls from 3:30 p.m. to dusk, and presentations run from 4:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.

"Bull selection is important because this is half of the genetics of the calves that are produced in the herd, and each bull will produce a large number of calves," said Donna Lofgren, Purdue Extension animal breeding specialist. "Producers need to look at the traits most important to their specific herds, whether those are growth rate, carcass characteristics or birth weight and calving ease."

Presentation topics include "evaluating structural soundness of breeding bulls," by Larry Horstman, DVM, of the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine; "breeding soundness evaluation of bulls," by Wayne Singleton, Purdue animal scientist; and "sorting out the data to decide which bull is best for your herd," by Purdue animal scientist Terry Stewart.

A complimentary supper of burgers and beef bratwurst cooked by the Lawrence County Cattlemen will be available 5:30-7 p.m. RSVP to Stewart at 765-494-4808 or tstewart@purdue.edu.

Bulls at the open house will have been through the Indiana Beef Evaluation Program, a 125-day measurement of the bull's growth rate and carcass characteristics. They also must pass tests for structural soundness, breeding soundness and disposition. At the end of the evaluation period, data will be compiled for producers to study. The top two-thirds of the bulls tested will be up for auction at 6 p.m. April 14 at the Springville Feeder Auction, 10 miles northwest of Bedford.

"The open house is a chance for potential buyers to get to observe the bulls and how they perform, and it's also a chance for producers to learn more about entering their own animals into the evaluation program," Lofgren said.

Producers interested in the April 14 sale who cannot attend the open house can request a free sale catalog by providing name and address to Lofgren at 765-494-6439, dlofgren@purdue.edu. The sale will be shown live on http://dvauction.com/, or producers can bid on bulls from any of the five remote Indiana bidding sites.

More information about the open house, sale and IBEP is available at http://www.ansc.purdue.edu/ibep/


Writer: Jennifer Stewart, 765-494-6682, jsstewar@purdue.edu

Sources: Donna Lofgren, 765- 494-6439, dlofgren@purdue.edu 


Ag Communications:
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