Wanted: A Few Top Bulls For 93rd All-Breed Performance-Evaluated Bull Sale In Springfield; Entry Deadline Jan. 25

 Bull in ring at Springfield Livestock Marketing Center
 Photo credit: University of Missouri Extension

   The Southwest Missouri Beef Cattle Improvement Association is looking for bulls for the March 25 All-Breed Performance-Evaluated Bull Sale at the Springfield Livestock Marketing Center. This will be their 93rd sale dating back to 1973.
   “The sale has been built around performance with strict requirements for growth and soundness. Increasingly, buyers at the sale want more objective data than just weaning and yearling weights,” said Eldon Cole, livestock field specialist with University of Missouri Extension.
   The sale requires a minimum 365-day adjusted weight of 1100 pound but buyers prefer bulls that have a 365-day EPD weight percentile rank better than 50.
   In addition to a yearling weight of 1100 pounds eligible bulls must have an expected progeny difference (EPD) in the top 50th percentile on 3 of these six categories: calving ease, weaning weight, yearling weight, milk, marbling and ribeye area.
   “The top-selling bulls, invariably are in the top 25 percentile ranking for at least four of the traits,” said Cole.
   Also, buyers want genomic tests completed before press time on the bulls which enhances their EPD accuracy in the sale catalog. The Missouri Show-Me-Select Heifer program is moving toward only accepting genomic tested bulls as cleanup sires by Feb. 1, 2020.
   The SWMO BCIA sales are for all-breeds, but for years Angus have made up roughly 90 percent of the consignments. Other purebreds and composite bulls are welcome as long as they meet the EPD requirements with their breed association. There are geographic limits as consignors must be from the region running from Vernon county across to Laclede then south to the Arkansas line. The area includes Howell and Texas counties.
   “Over the years, smaller breeders who raise three to five bulls or less have found these sales to be an attractive place for advertisement purposes if they consistently bring top-quality bulls,” said Cole.
   Bulls do not have to be halter broken for the sale. They should be well-mannered, not high-headed and if their breed releases docility EPDs, they should be average or better.
   Structural soundness is another trait that formerly was scored at the sale but now consignors need to be very conscious of their bull's overall soundness and not consign bulls with hoof and mobility problems.
   Breeders who wish to consign bulls born from May 1, 2017, to February 28, 2018, that meet the standards mentioned earlier should contact sale manager, Pam Naylor at 417-345-8330. The absolute entry deadline is Jan. 25. ∆

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