Start Selecting 2018 Illinois Performance-Tested Bulls

   Seedstock breeders should be identifying bulls they plan to consign to the 2018 Illinois Performance-Tested (IPT) Bull Sale. The IPT Bull Sale is the leadoff event for the annual Illinois Beef Expo. The sale is scheduled for Thursday, February 22nd at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. The sale accepts older as well as younger bulls, with a birth date range from January 1, 2016 through March 2017.
   A successful 2017 sale included some of the best bulls yet, according to Travis Meteer, IPT Bull Sale manager and University of Illinois Extension beef cattle educator. “The bulls in the 2017 sale were extremely high-quality bulls with good performance pedigrees. Bull buyers seek out cattle that look the part and have EPDs that will yield profitable progeny…that is what the IPT Bull Sale provides,” he says.
   The sale continues to expand its market through the use of an online bidding service, which Meteer says will help the sale build upon an already distinguished reputation in the state of Illinois and the Midwest.
   Multi-trait economic selection indexes will be the foundation for determining qualification and sale order. The sale order will be based on the “percent rank” for a maternal and a terminal Dollar Value Index in each breed. The two indexes used have been included in the IPT Bull Sale catalog for several years and for the respective breeds are: Angus-$Wean ($W), $Beef ($B); Simmental-All Purpose Index (API), Terminal Index (TI); Hereford-Baldy Maternal Index (BMI), and Certified Hereford Beef index (CHB).
   “These indexes are the most reliable predictor of improving profit if calves are marketed at weaning or as fed cattle,” Meteer says. “Bulls will also be required to have a calving ease EPD in the top 85th percentile.”
   Meteer says the sale policy regarding genetic conditions is the same as last year. All Angus and Simmental bulls will be required to be tested free or free by pedigree of AM, NH, and CA. Simmentals will also be required to be tested free of OS, PHA, and TH. Hereford bulls will be required to be free of IE and hypotrichosis. In regards to DD, bulls will be allowed to sell as long as they have been tested within the requirements of the breed association to determine carrier status.
   Health requirements continue to be a focus of the sale. Requirements remaining the same as the previous sale include the testing of all bulls for Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD) using the Persistently Infected (PI) ear notch screening system. Johne’s testing must occur on the bull’s dam or recipient dam or come from a herd that is Level 1 or higher for the Voluntary Johne’s Certification Program. All breeding soundness exams must be conducted by a veterinarian. All bulls over 24 months of age and bulls that have been exposed to cows will be required to be tested for trich. Virgin bulls under 24 months of age will need a certificate or written statement endorsed by the bull owner indicating he has not been exposed.
   Breeders are eligible to sell eight bulls in the 2018 sale, with two of these bulls not requiring the nomination fee. However, consignors selling more than six bulls will require that they index above the average for their breed at cataloging. Also, first-time consignors are limited to nominating two bulls.
   All bulls consigned to the 2018 sale will be required to have genomic-enhanced EPDs. This is easily accomplished by sending a blood or hair sample into the breed-approved genetic testing lab. The sale will accept both low and high density tests to meet the requirement. The IPT Bull Sale is known for giving the bull buyer all necessary information to make positive herd progress. Genomic-enhanced EPDs are more accurate and predictable EPDs.  
   “We are reducing the risk on these bulls. The bulls selling can be trusted more now than ever to sire true to their values,” Meteer says.
   Nomination deadline and fees are three-tiered, with the following dates and costs: November 15, $75; December 1, $100; and December 15, $125. A copy of the rules and regulations and nomination form, along with past sale information is posted on the web at Rules and regulation information can also be obtained by contacting Travis Meteer at 217-430-7030 or ∆
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