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Virginia Cooperative Extension -
 Knowledge for the CommonWealth

Beef Update

Livestock Update, June 2002

Scott P. Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist, Beef, VA Tech

2001-02 Virginia BCIA Central Bull Test Station Summary
For the 44th consecutive year, bulls have been evaluated and sold through the Virginia Central Bull Test Station Program operated by the Virginia Beef Cattle Improvement Association. In the 2001-02 test and sale year, a total of 421 bulls were tested at two test stations located in Culpeper and Wytheville. The 270 bulls which sold represented the top two-thirds of all bull tested.

This was the 44th year for the Culpeper test station, now operated by Glenmary Farm, Tom and Kim Nixon owners, of Rapidan, Virginia. In the senior group at Culpeper (bulls born September 1 through December 15, 2000), 101 bulls were tested and had 3.89 ADG and an adjusted yearling weight of 1199. The 100 Culpeper junior bulls (born December 16, 2000 to March 31, 2001) recorded test performance of 4.00 ADG and 1215 adjusted yearling weight. The test station at Wytheville completed its 23rd year, and is owned and operated by Danny Umberger and managed by Jack Poole. Of the 195 total bulls tested at Wytheville, 65 were senior bulls (born October 1 through December 31, 2000) and 155 juniors (born January 1 to March 31, 2001). Senior bulls at Wytheville had a test ADG of 3.76 and adjusted yearling weight of 1150, while the junior bulls recorded 3.41 ADG and 1186 adjusted yearling weight. Across the two stations and four test groups ranging in length from 112 to 133 days, the 421 total bulls averaged 3.72 ADG and 1190 adjusted yearling weight. These 421 bulls included 313 Angus, 47 Simmental, 35 Charolais, 16 Gelbvieh, 6 Hereford, 3 Red Angus, and 1 Limousin.

In the three sales held, the 270 bulls grossed $465,300 to average $1723. The 62 Culpeper Senior bulls averaged $1906, 60 Culpeper Junior bulls $1876, and 148 Wytheville Senior and Junior bulls $1585. Across all three sales, 200 Angus averaged $1812, 30 Simmental averaged $1623, 24 Charolais averaged $1267, 11 Gelbvieh averaged $1673, 3 Red Angus averaged $950, and 2 Hereford averaged $1250. Average total test and sale costs for bulls sold during the 2001-02 season was $660, for an average return of $1064 to the consignor per bull sold.

A total of 101 breeders participated in the Central Bull Test Station program. There were 86 Virginia breeders, and a total of 15 from the surrounding states of Tennessee (7), West Virginia (5), and Maryland (3). Several breeders participated in more than one test and sale. Of the 270 bulls sold, 233 were purchased by Virginia buyers and 37 (13.7%) sold out of state.

All bulls tested and sold were consigned by breeders who are members of the Virginia Beef Cattle Improvement Association. Virginia BCIA was the first state beef cattle improvement association, organized in 1955. For information concerning the Central Bull Test Station program for 2002-03 contact the Virginia BCIA office at (540) 231-9163 or visit .

Virginia BCIA Announces Plans for 2002-03 Central Test Station Program
Rules and regulations for the 2002-03 Virginia Central Bull Tests and Sales are now available through the Virginia Beef Cattle Improvement Association. This will be the 45th year for the Central Bull Test Stations in Virginia. A total of four tests will be conducted at the two test stations located in Culpeper and Wytheville.

The Culpeper station at Glenmary Farm in Rapidan, VA will test two sets of bulls. Senior bulls (born August 15 to December 15, 2001) will be delivered July 16 and tested for 112 days with eligible bulls selling December 14. The Junior test group (bulls born December 16, 2001 to March 31, 2002) will be taken in at the station November 5, tested for 112 days, and sold April 4, 2003.

The Southwest Bull Test Station in Wytheville, VA will test two age groups of bulls- Senior bulls born October 1 to December 31, 2001 and Junior bulls born January 1 to March 31, 2002. Both sets of bulls are scheduled to arrive at the station October 1. Senior bull will be tested for 112 days, and Junior bulls for 133 days. Eligible bulls in both test groups will be sold on March 22, 2003.

In the 2001-02 season, a total of 421 bulls were evaluated through the Virginia central test stations. A total of 270 bulls sold through three sales for an average price of $1723. Average test and sale costs for bulls sold during the 2001-02 season was $660, for an average return of $1064 to the consignor per bull sold.

Registered bulls of any recognized beef breed, or recorded percentage bulls of breeds which have an open herd book are eligible for the central tests. All bulls must be recorded in their respective breed association, and have a complete performance record (including EPDs). Bulls must also meet breed-specific minimum YW EPD requirements, individual performance specifications, as well as pre-delivery health and management protocol to be eligible for the tests. Nomination intentions are due to Virginia BCIA June 15.

Breeders in Virginia and bordering states who are members of Virginia BCIA are eligible to consign bulls. For copies of the rules and regulations as well as entry information regarding the 2002-03 central bull tests, contact the Virginia BCIA office at 540-231-9163 or visit

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