Understanding and using some simple tools can help cattle producers make the right selection for new herd bulls during upcoming bull sales. Denise Schwab, Iowa State University Extension beef specialist, says that's why bull selection clinics are scheduled prior to three bull sales held by Iowa Cattlemen's Association later this spring. There's no cost to attend and no preregistration necessary at any of the locations.
"Sorting through performance measures and expected progeny differences doesn't have to be a chore or a mystery," Schwab says. "ISU Iowa Beef Center staff members have scheduled the two-hour clinics so attendees can go to the bull sale immediately following the session and use the information from the clinic."
ISU's Iowa Beef Center staff will hold the 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, or BEP, 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.
Evaluate your cow herd and determine the economically relevant traits you want
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.
Clinic dates, times and locations of the clinics are:
* Monday, March 18, 4:30 p.m., Bloomfield Auction Market, Bloomfield
* Friday, March 22, 4:30 p.m., Dunlap Livestock Auction, Dunlap
* Friday, May 3, 4 p.m. Tama Livestock Auction, Tama (open heifers that have been evaluated also will be on this sale).
To see a listing of bulls that will be offered at each of the 2013 sales, go to the ICA website 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 Extension beef specialist or Kellie Carolan at ICA, 515-296-2266. Also, you can call Carolan for specific questions about the bull sales.