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Virginia BCIA Central Bull Test Station Summary 2005-06

Livestock Update, June 2006

Dr. Scott Greiner, Ph.D. Extension Animal Scientist, Sheep, VA Tech

The Virginia Beef Cattle Improvement Association recently completed its 48th year of developing and merchandising bulls through state central bull test stations. The 2005-06 test and sale year proved to be another strong season, with a total of 266 bulls selling through three sales for an average price of $2492.

This was the 48th consecutive year for the Culpeper station, operated by Glenmary Farm, Tom and Kim Nixon owners, of Rapidan, Virginia. In the fall-born senior group at Culpeper, 138 bulls were tested and had a test ADG of 3.82 and an adjusted yearling weight of 1206. The 99 spring-born Culpeper junior bulls posted test performance of 3.84 ADG and 1158 adjusted yearling weight. The Southwest Bull Test was in operated for the 27th year, with development of the bulls provided by Hillwinds Farm, Tim and Cathy Sutphin of Dublin. The 204 total bulls tested at the Southwest station included 82 fall-born senior bulls and 122 spring-born juniors. The senior bulls recorded a test ADG of 3.95 with an adjusted yearling weight of 1201, while the junior bulls had a 3.66 ADG and 1196 adjusted yearling weight. Across the two stations and four test groups ranging in length from 112 to 133 days, the 441 total bulls averaged 3.80 ADG and 1192 adjusted yearling weight. These 441 bulls included 362 Angus, 43 Simmental, 21 Charolais, 13 Gelbvieh, and 2 Braunvieh.

Three sales were held for eligible bulls. The Culpeper Senior sale was held in mid-December with 82 bulls averaging $2449. The Southwest sale in late March sold 129 bulls for a record average of $2685, and the Culpeper Junior sale in early April averaged $2105 on 55 head. Across all three sales, 223 Angus averaged $2507, 25 Simmental averaged $3030, 12 Charolais averaged $1238, and 6 Gelbvieh averaged $2208. Average total test and sale costs for bulls fed and sold during the 2005-06 season was $779, for an average return of $1713 to the consignor per bull sold. The $2492 average sale price per bull for 2005-06 across all tests and sales is the second highest on record for the Virginia BCIA Central Bull Test Program, slightly behind the record set a year ago ($2506).

A total of 82 breeders participated in the Central Bull Test Station program last year. There were 67 Virginia breeders, and a total of 15 from the surrounding states of Tennessee, Maryland, West Virginia, and North Carolina. Several breeders participated in more than one test and sale. Of the 266 bulls sold, 234 were purchased by Virginia buyers and 32 (12%) sold out of state to Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Tennessee.

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 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 2006-07 central bull tests will be available in late May.

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