View & Print Coupons
  • |
  • |
Please insert a friend's information that you would like send an email to.
Friend's Email Address:  
Friend's Name:
Your Email Address:
Your Name:
Special Message:

Bull Evaluation Program at WVU


Tests aren’t just limited to those in school. This year 146 bulls (130 Angus, 13 Hereford, 3 Charolais) are trying to make the grade and be classified as genetically superior bulls as part of the West Virginia (WVU) Bull Evaluation Program, better known as the Wardensville Bull Test. Since 1967, the program has been helping West Virginia cattleman increase the profitability and efficiency of their herds.

Bull feeding inside a barn

Consignors who send their bulls to the test get the opportunity to learn about the genetic merit of their herd. By sending multiple, at least three, bull calves sired by the same bull, producers can learn whether or not they should use that bull again as part of their breeding program. In addition to learning about the genetic makeup in their own herd, they can compare their bulls with other participants to identify superior calves and cow families. Test results will help improve breeding selections in the future.

Initially designed to focus on improving feed conversion and growth rates, the criteria upon which bulls are evaluated has evolved since the program’s inception. Additional elements assessed today include fertility, marbling, muscling, calving ease and carcass quality. Bulls that do not meet the standards on each element are not offered during the post evaluation sale. With only the best bulls offered for sale, producers have an opportunity to make a sound investment and improve the genetic makeup of their herd. “Simply put, better bulls bring home a bigger return on investment,” explains Kevin Shaffer, WVU Bull Evaluation Program Coordinator.

The WVU Bull Evaluation is unique as it is the first bull evaluation program in the United States to measure Residual Feed Intake. Did you know feed, the majority of which is hay and pasture cost, makes up 70% of total production costs related to cow/calf operations? Feed is the number one cost pre harvest throughout the beef industry according to Shaffer. “Of those costs, 70% of feed is just for maintenance, simply to keep the animals alive, not even being productive,” notes Shaffer. This fact alone shows the importance of being able to impact feed required simply for maintenance. “If you can make a 10% feed efficiency improvement in a 100 head herd, that means you can keep 110 head for the same dollars that previously supported 100 head,” suggests Shaffer.

Advances in technology have made it possible to more easily gauge Residual Feed Intake. The program has been able to monitor individual feed intake and how often an animal eats through an electronic GrowSafe 4000E, feed intake monitoring system. Likewise, the use of ultrasound has been incorporated to determine yield and carcass quality. By ultrasounding the ribeye area, back fat, rump fat and subcutaneous fat, the percentage of intramuscular fat in each area indicates marbling and grade.

Southern States Cooperative® is proud to have a long standing relationship with the West Virginia Bull Test program. Each year Southern States provides the supplement that is part of the total mixed ration feed as part of the test. Southern States varies the composition of the supplement based on forage testing results each year. Shaffer values the partnership, “Any issues that come up, Southern States has been very willing to help us troubleshoot.” As a result of the partnership developed during the bull test, Southern States has partnered with WVU on a variety of other programs at the university.

Southern States looks forward to continuing its long standing relationship with the WVU Bull Test program in the years ahead. For more information on the program visit http://bulltest.ext.wvu.edu/.


Related Products

GridList

Southern States Goat Forage Supplement Tub 125 lb
COMPARE
Check local store for pricing
Southern States Goat Forage Supplement Tub 125 lb
Check Store Availability
Check Store Availability
Southern States Genetic Expression 14% Jump Start 50 lb
COMPARE
Check local store for pricing
Southern States Genetic Expression 14% Jump Start 50 lb
Check Store Availability
Check Store Availability
Southern States Chronicle AP with (BVT) Medicated 50 lb
COMPARE
$74.15
Southern States Chronicle AP with (BVT) Medicated 50 lb
Check Store Availability
Check Store Availability
Land O Lakes Electrolyte Base 25 lb
COMPARE
Check local store for pricing
Land O Lakes Electrolyte Base 25 lb
Check Store Availability
Check Store Availability
Land O Lakes Electrolyte Base 25 lb
COMPARE
Check local store for pricing
Land O Lakes Electrolyte Base 25 lb
Check Store Availability
Check Store Availability
Akey Sow Booster HP-50 50 lb
COMPARE
Check local store for pricing
Akey Sow Booster HP-50 50 lb
Check Store Availability
Check Store Availability
Southern States Genetic Expression 20% Cattle Breeder Tub 200 lb
COMPARE
Check local store for pricing
Southern States Genetic Expression 20% Cattle Breeder Tub 200 lb
Check Store Availability
Check Store Availability
Southern States 40% Sheep Supplement (BVT) Medicated 50 lb
COMPARE
Check local store for pricing
Southern States 40% Sheep Supplement (BVT) Medicated 50 lb
Check Store Availability
Check Store Availability


Product availability and pricing may vary by location.
These products may be purchased at your local store.
Images are representative only. Color and size may vary.
Your Current Store:

You will see pricing and specials based on this store.