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ICA kicks off 2012 bull sales in Bloomfield on March 19

By Staff | Mar 12, 2012

AMES The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association will hold its first performance-selected bull sale of the season at 6:30 p.m., on Monday at the Bloomfield Livestock Auction Market in Bloomfield.

“With the U.S. cattle industry reporting its lowest cow numbers since 1973, the time is right to select a bull that will maximize your investment in the cow-calf segment,” says Kellie Carolan, ICA seedstock manager. “The bulls consigned for this sale have the genetic potential to add pounds to your calf crop and dollars to your bottom line.”

The sale features bulls that have met the standards of ICA’s Bull Evaluation Program, indicating they will provide genetics with high economic value to farmers with either commercial cow-calf or seedstock production.

“Breeders have consigned an excellent set of bulls that carry breed-leading pedigrees and outstanding EPDs (expected progeny differences),” says Carolan, who oversees the evaluation program.

Two breeds are represented in the bulls that will be sold in Bloomfield. The 27 yearling bulls, 20 Angus and seven Simmental, were tested from Oct. 31, 2011 to Feb. 20, 2012, at Van Meter Feedyard near Guthrie Center. The sale bulls represent the top 75% of the group tested, and were selected based on carcass, growth and reproductive merit.

“Buyers will find high performance bulls with real performance test data,” Carolan says. “This sale offering had an average gain of over 4.5 pounds per day on-test plus many which excel in calving ease and carcass traits.”

The ICA Bull Evaluation Program, which has been in place since 1985, has two basic objectives: 1) to evaluate high-quality bulls in a common environment to benefit seedstock producers and; 2) to identify and merchandise a select group of bulls, which excel in traits that have a high economic value.

To accomplish the second objective, each bull must undergo a rigid evaluation process. “First, the bulls are placed on-test to evaluate their growth potential. Once the bulls finish the testing period, they undergo an ultrasound exam to gather carcass merit information as it relates to rib eye area size, amount of back fat, and the amount of intramuscular fat,” says Carolan.

Breeders of the highest-gaining bull from each breed that qualified for the Bloomfield sale will be honored prior to the sale by ICA and Pfizer Animal Health. They are John Boggess of Oskaloosa, who consigned Lot 41, an Angus bull sired by “S A V 8180 Traveler 004.” This March bull gained 5.18 pounds per day.

Also, hitting the mark of 5.18 pounds per day for gain was Lot 31, a February son of ‘SVF/NJC Amazon.’ This Simmental bull was raised by Darin Smith of Alexander, Ill.

Two other sale dates for bulls that have been tested through the ICA evaluation program are March 30 at the Dunlap Livestock Auction in Dunlap, and May 4 at the Tama Livestock Auction in Tama,. A group of performance-tested open heifers will also sell prior to the Tama bull sale on May 4.

For more information about the ICA Bull Evaluation Program or to receive a sale catalog, contact the ICA office at 515-296-2266. You may also view the Bloomfield catalog and other bull and heifer test information on the ICA Web site at www.iacattlemen.org.

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