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2010-11 BCIA Bull Test Season Initiated

Authors as Published

Dr. Scott P. Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist, VA Tech.

The Beef Cattle Improvement Association (BCIA) has initiated its 54th consecutive year evaluating bulls with the delivery of 88 fall-born bulls to its Culpeper Senior Bull Test held at Glenmary Farm in Rapidan, VA.  The Culpeper Bull Test is operated by Glenmary Farm, owned by Tom and Kim Nixon and family of Rapidan.

As a third-party administrator of the Bull Test Program, BCIA works to serve its primary purposes of: 1) to foster the improvement of beef cattle in Virginia through improved genetics and management with major emphasis placed on selection criteria for traits of economic importance, and: 2) to carry on educational and promotional work in connection with the production of improved beef cattle.  Through its membership of seedstock and commercial producers from Virginia and surrounding states, program guidelines are established via a 10-member Board of Directors.  Virginia BCIA is a state organization which belongs to the Beef Improvement Federation -- the national organization which sets guidelines and standards for beef cattle genetics.

With the above mission in mind, BCIA sets forth strict requirements for bulls to be sold through one of their test sales.  Some of the eligibility requirements include: bulls meeting minimum YW EPD requirements based on breed; minimum frame score of 5.0; soundness; disposition; and pre-weaning and vaccination programs.

In addition to the Culpeper station, BCIA also operates a central bull test in Southwest Virginia which is conducted at Hillwinds Farm, owned by Tim and Cathy Sutphin family of Dublin.  The Southwest Bull Test will receive bulls in early October (both fall and spring-born bulls) with the sale scheduled for March 24, 2012.  Bulls at both locations are on test for 112 days.  During the evaluation period, growth and frame size are evaluated, along with ultrasound carcass merit, genotyping for coat color and genetic defects, screening for structural soundness and disposition, and finally a comprehensive breeding soundness exam.  Following the test, a targeted two-thirds of the bulls are sold which are designated based on meeting minimum criteria along with a combination of both individual performance and EPDs.

The 88 bulls recently delivered to Culpeper consist of 74 Angus, 3 Gelbvieh, 4 Polled Hereford, and 7 Simmental and SimmAngus bulls.  The bulls are scheduled to come off test on November 1 with the sale scheduled for Saturday, December 10, 2011 at Culpeper Agricultural Enterprises.

Watch for updates in the BCIA Bull-e-tin on both the Culpeper and Southwest Tests.  For additional details, including progress reports and detailed information on all the bulls visit the BCIA website


Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, re-print, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.


Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Alan L. Grant, Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; Jewel E. Hairston, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State, Petersburg.


August 1, 2011

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