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2004-05 Virginia BCIA Central Bull Test Station Summary

Livestock Update, May 2005

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

The Virginia Beef Cattle Improvement Association recently completed its 47th year of developing and merchandising bulls through state central bull test stations. The 2004-05 test and sale year proved to be a record-setter, with a total of 255 bulls selling through three sales for an average price of $2506.

This was the 47th year for the Culpeper test station, operated by Glenmary Farm, Tom and Kim Nixon owners, of Rapidan, Virginia. In the fall-born senior group at Culpeper, 127 bulls were tested and had a test ADG of 3.77 and an adjusted yearling weight of 1128. The 95 spring-born Culpeper junior bulls posted test performance of 3.74 ADG and 1125 adjusted yearling weight. The Southwest Bull Test was in operation for the 26th year, with development of the bulls provided by Hillwinds Farm, Tim and Cathy Sutphin of Dublin. The 195 total bulls tested at the Southwest station included 87 fall-born senior bulls and 108 spring-born juniors. The senior bulls recorded a test ADG of 3.80 with an adjusted yearling weight of 1173, while the junior bulls had a 3.81 ADG and 1231 adjusted yearling weight. Across the two stations and four test groups ranging in length from 112 to 133 days, the 417 total bulls averaged 3.78 ADG and 1163 adjusted yearling weight. These 417 bulls included 339 Angus, 30 Charolais, 29 Simmental, and 14 Gelbvieh, 3 Braunvieh, 1 Hereford, and 1 Limousin.

Three sales were held for qualifying bulls. The Culpeper Senior sale was held in mid-December with 75 bulls averaging $2597. The Southwest sale in late March sold 130 bulls at $2503, and the Culpeper Junior sale in early April averaged $2375 on 50 head. Across all three sales, 212 Angus averaged $2567, 21 Simmental averaged $2500, 17 Charolais averaged $1835, 3 Gelbvieh averaged $1900, and 2 Braunvieh averaged $1750. Average total test and sale costs for bulls fed and sold during the 2004-05 season was $757, for an average return of $1749 to the consignor per bull sold. The $2506 average sale price per bull for 2004-05 across all tests and sales is the highest on record for the Virginia BCIA Central Bull Test Program, surpassing the previous record set a year ago ($2248).

A total of 84 breeders participated in the Central Bull Test Station program last year. There were 62 Virginia breeders, and a total of 22 from the surrounding states of Tennessee (8), Maryland (6), West Virginia (6), and North Carolina (2). Several breeders participated in more than one test and sale. Of the 255 bulls sold, 226 were purchased by Virginia buyers and 29 (11%) sold out of state to Arkansas, Delaware, North Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Maryland.

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 a more detailed summary of this information, or information on the upcoming 2005-06 Virginia BCIA Central Bull Test Station program contact the Virginia BCIA office at (540) 231-9163 or visit . The Rules and Regulations and consignment information for the 2005-06 central bull tests will be available by May 15.

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