University News

Bull Test Sale Underway

November 7, 2007

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MACOMB, IL -- Are you ready for higher feed prices?

To improving feeding efficiency, the bulls at the Western Illinois University Performance Bull Test have individual feed conversion data, which could result in saving producers money in the long run. The bulls are on test from Oct. 23 through Feb. 12.

According to Ken Nimrick, agriculture professor and test co-coordinator, balanced rations and good management can affect feed efficiency and cost of production; however, studies show that approximately 40 percent of the differences in feed efficiency are accounted for by genetics.

"Reduced feed usage means higher profits from your next calf crop. What does this mean in dollars and cents? A bull requiring only one pound less feed per pound of gain than another bull will transmit approximately 40 percent of that advantage or .4 pound less feed per pound of gain to his offspring compared to the other bull," Nimrick explained. "With ration costs approaching $160 per ton and each animal gaining 800 pounds from weaning to harvest, the result is a savings in feed cost of $25.60 per animal. "

Approximately 45 of these rugged, thick-made Angus, Simmental, Red Angus, Gelbvieh, Polled Hereford, Charolais and Composite bulls with bred-in performance will be offered for sale at the 36th Annual WIU Performance Tested Bull Sale Friday, March 14 at the WIU Livestock Center on Tower Road in Macomb.
All bulls came on test Merial SureHealthTM certified and tested free of Johnes and persistently infected BVD. Extensive production information is available to help breeders improve their herds through known genetic information. In addition to average daily gain and feed efficiency, data will also be provided on ribeye area, 12th rib fat, marbling, scrotal circumference, pelvic area, frame score and birthweight, plus EPD data from the respective breed associations. Again this year, some bulls will have DNA test data available. All bulls offered for sale are screened for soundness and will have completed a breeding soundness exam and are ready for the upcoming breeding season.

The WIU Bull Test Station is open daily for those wanting to view the bulls prior to the sale, and catalogs will be sent March 1. For more information or to request a sale catalog, contact Nimrick at 309/298-1288, co-coordinator Bruce Engnell 309/298-2233 or the WIU agriculture department 309/298-1080. The sale catalog and additional information on the bulls is also available

Posted By: Darcie Shinberger (
Office of University Communications & Marketing