The Iowa Cattleman’s Association has been trying to help Iowa’s cattle producers properly evaluate their seedstock bulls and heifers through its evaluation program which was started in 1985.
ICA Seedstock Manager Kellie Carolan provides more background on the program.
“Each year, breeders in the Midwest enter hundreds of bulls and open heifers into the program for comparison and benchmarking,” Carolan said. “The value of the ICA evaluation program is producers can compare their genetics to other producers. This is an excellent opportunity to get important performance information on your seedstock without having to tie up lot space.”
The program allows breeders to compare high-quality bulls and heifers in a common environment and identify cattle with high market value traits.
Fall cattle are tested at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids and spring cattle are tested in the Van Meter Feed yard near Guthrie Center. Tests can be done privately and in consignment. Fall reservations are being taken until Sept. 27 for bulls and Nov. 22 for heifers or until all pens are full.
“Using the private reservations may be best for producers interested in a cost-effective way of gathering ultrasound and performance data on their herd, while reserving the right to take their stock home after the evaluation,” Carolan said.
Some of the testing measurements bulls are expected to meet to include having a minimum Average Daily Gain ratio of 90. ADG ratio is calculated by dividing his ADG by his breed contemporary group average ADG and multiplying by 100.
Bulls are also expected to have a 1,100 lb. minimum adjusted yearling weight. Other requirements are an 11.5 inch minimum measurement in a ribeye area of the body ultrasound and a minimum of 32-centimeters total in scrotum circumference.
“Bulls and heifers will be evaluated through the feeding period, and need to meet strict selection criteria to be eligible for an ICA sale and be worthy of the ICA ‘Symbol of Excellence,’ Carolan said. “As an ICA bull and heifer consignor you have the opportunity to open another market for your seedstock. The ICA evaluation program has a long reputation of offering elite genetics to commercial breeders and other purebred producers”
Qualified cattle can participate in the three upcoming sales the ICA will host. The first of which will be on March 17, 2014, in Bloomfield. The second will be on March 28 in Dunlap, and the last sell will take place on May 2 in Tama.
For more information on the program, visit www.iacattlemen.org or email Carolan at Kellie@iabeef.org.