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 Knowledge for the CommonWealth

The Cow-Calf Manager:
Systematic Heifer Development -- The Virginia Premium Assured Way

Livestock Update, August 2000

John Hall, Extension Animal Scientist, Beef,Virginia Tech

The Virginia Premium Assured Heifer (VAPAH) Program is off to a good start. Over 300 heifers were enrolled last year and producers were pleased with the program. At least four sales will feature Virginia Premium Assured Heifers between Fall 2000 and Spring 2001. The VAPAH program is an educational and technical assistance program for producers who raise or market replacement heifers. Remember you don't have to sell your heifers to be part of the program. Producers will receive summarized heifer data as well as technical assistance.

The process for developing heifers using VA Premium Assured methods is not difficult, but it is easier if the process is carried out in stages. The process is the same for fall calving or spring calving heifers. The critical stages and processes are as follows:

Weaning (6 to 10 months of age)

Prebreeding (13 to 14 months of age)

Pregnancy Exam (16 to 18 months of age)

Special Requirements for VAPAH Sale Heifers

Service Sire - Minimum EPD's for 2000 - 2001 VAPAH
Birth Weight must be less than or equal to listed EPD

Bulls for Commercial Heifers
BreedAngusCharolaisGelbviehHerefordRed Angus Simmental
BW EPD+ 2.3- 9.7- 5.5- 2.3- 1.4- 5.5

Bulls for Purebred Heifers (bred to bulls of their breed)
BreedAngusCharolaisGelbviehHerefordRed Angus Simmental
BW EPD+ 2.3+ 1.5+ 1.6+ 3.4+ 0.1+ 2.9

Growth must be greater than or equal to listed EPD.

British sires & most Continental sires -- Must be breed average for WW and/ or YW for the year the bull was born. See VQA Chart.

Charolais, Gelbvieh and Simmental -- Must be in the top 70% for WW and/or YW for year bull was born. See VQA Chart.

EPD Requirements for VQA Purple Tag and VAPAH Programs. Sire minimums by breed and year.

 Yearling Weight EPD
Birth Year
Weaning Weight EPD
Birth Year
Red Angus444337383530262523242221
Tarentaise 722201917 11211109
* 70 % level

Premium Assured Plus level
VA Premium Assured Plus is another level of the program above the Premium Assured level. At this level, the heifers were sired by bulls meeting specific EPD requirements for growth (VQA requirements) and milk (top 70% of breed).

Current list of VAPAH Sales

Sale LocationDateVAPAH Type
Blackstone BCIABlackstone Livestock MarketNovember 17, 2000Bred and Open
Front Royal Virginia Livestock, Front Royal November 18, 2000Bred
Staunton BCIAExpo Land, FishersvilleDecember 2, 2000Bred
Virginia Beef Expo Commercial HeiferVirginia Horse Center, LexingtonApril __, 2001Bred and Open

Additional details and information about the VAPAH program can be obtained from John B. Hall, Extension Beef Cattle Specialist, Virginia Tech, phone 540-231-9153 or e-mail

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