TAMA, Iowa -- Understanding and using some simple tools can help cattle producers make the right selection for new herd bulls. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef program specialist Denise Schwab said that’s why a bull selection clinic is scheduled prior to the bull sale held by Iowa Cattlemen’s Association at the Tama Livestock Auction, Tama on Friday, May 3. 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. “Iowa Beef Center staff members from Iowa State have scheduled the two-hour clinic so attendees can go to the bull sale immediately following the session and use the information from the clinic.”
The clinic starts at 4 p.m. with the sale beginning at 6 p.m. Heifers will sell first, followed by bulls.
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.
Schwab said Iowa Beef Center staff, including new extension cow-calf specialist Patrick Gunn, 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 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 sale on May 3, go to www.iacattlemen.org/bullheifer.aspx.
For more information on the bull clinic, contact an Iowa State beef specialist at www.extension.iastate.edu/ag/beef.