September 1, 2000 | By: Aimee D. Heald
LEXINGTON, KY.

Seedstock producers have spoken. They wanted Kentucky to revive its bull evaluation program. The University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, Kentucky Cattlemen's Association, Kentucky Beef Improvement Association and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture were listening and have joined forces to offer a bull evaluation and sale.

"We used to do a similar program years ago; that stopped in 1993," Darrh Bullock, beef specialist for the UK College of Agriculture, said. "However, many producers wanted a program that would allow bulls to be evaluated on an equal playing field."

Bullock said the new bull evaluation program is producer-driven and will include all the latest technologies including Expected Progeny Differences and ultrasonic carcass information.

Bulls will be fed at a central feeding location in Daviess County in a feedyard-type setting, partially under shelter, on concrete, with an open, dirt exercise area. Deadline for entry into the program is Sept. 30 and bulls will be delivered to the feeding location on Oct. 30.

Bulls will be fed a corn silage, wheatlage-based ration, with corn and soybean meal supplemented to achieve appropriate weight gains. Bullock said the goal is for the bulls to gain about 3.5 pounds per day. A stringent health program is required, similar to the Certified Preconditioned for Health program.

"Each bull will be required to have EPDs for birth weight, weaning weight direct, and weaning weight milk," Bullock said. "Also, the bull must meet certain minimums on those EPDs, based on his ranking within his breed."

When the evaluation period is over, bulls will be checked for breeding soundness and ultrasonic measurements will be taken to indicate potential carcass merits. The program will culminate with a sale at the Muhlenberg County Agriculture and Convention Center on March 26, 2001. Feeding performance, EPDs for many traits, ultrasound information, scrotal circumferences and other information will be available to buyers at the sale.

"This is really a great program from an Extension stand-point," Bullock said. "It gives us the opportunity to educate seedstock producers about using the tools they have to improve the quality of their bulls. We also get a chance to interact with and assist commercial producers with making good bull-selection decisions."

For detailed information and consignment forms please contact your county Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension agent or mail requests to Dr. Darrh Bullock, Bull Evaluation Program, 804 WP Garrigus Bldg., Lexington, KY 40546. Interested bull buyers also can mail sale information requests to this address.

Contact: 

Darrh Bullock 859-257-7514