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Details of 2004-05 Virginia BCIA Central Bull Test Station Program

Livestock Update, June 2004

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

The Virginia Beef Cattle Improvement Association is set to begin its 46th year developing bulls through the Central Bull Test Stations in Virginia. Rules and regulations for the 2004-05 test and sale season are now available through Virginia BCIA. A total of four tests will be conducted at the two test stations located in Culpeper and Southwest Virginia.

The Culpeper station at Glenmary Farm in Rapidan, VA will test two sets of bulls. Senior bulls (born August 15 to December 15, 2003) will be delivered July 13 and tested for 112 days with eligible bulls selling December 11. The Junior test group (bulls born December 16, 2003 to March 31, 2004) will be taken in at the station November 5, tested for 112 days, and sold April 1, 2005.

The Southwest Bull Test Station will be at a new location and under new management for 2004-05. The Southwest bulls will be developed at Hillwinds Farm owned by Tim Sutphin of Pulaski, Virginia. While the location of the station has changed, the principles of the test will remain similar to previous years. Two age groups of bulls will be tested _ Senior bulls born October 1 to December 31, 2003 and Junior bulls born January 1 to March 31, 2004. Both sets of bulls are scheduled to arrive at the station October 5. Senior bulls will be tested for 112 days, and Junior bulls for 133 days. Eligible bulls in both test groups will be sold on March 26, 2005.

In addition to the traditional tests, the opportunity exists for breeders to custom feed bulls through the BCIA program so that contemporary groups may be maintained. Additionally, provisions to the program have been added to allow breeders more flexibility in developing both sale-eligible and custom test bulls.

Registered bulls of any recognized beef breed, or recorded percentage bulls (half-bloods or greater) 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.

Breeders in Virginia and bordering states who are members of Virginia BCIA are eligible to consign bulls. For details and copies of the rules and regulations as well as entry information regarding the 2004-05 central bull tests, contact the Virginia BCIA office at 540-231-9163 or visit .

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