83rd sale looking for a few good bulls

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Southwest Missouri Beef Cattle Improvement Association is now accepting entries for their March 30 bull sale at the Springfield Livestock Marketing Center.

Eligible bulls must have been calved from May 1, 2012 through Feb. 28, 2013.

Qualifying counties for entry run from Vernon over to Laclede, down through Texas and Howell counties and all others in southwest Missouri.

The March sale will be the 83rd consecutive sale. Sales are held each March and October.

There are several requirements that entries must meet. They must be purebred or a recognized composite breed with expected progeny differences. They must be an 1100 pound or greater adjusted yearling weight. A minimum frame score of 5.0 at 365 days is required. They must be owned as a cow-calf unit prior to the time the bull calf is 120 days of age.

To be in this sale they must rank in the 50th percentile or better for two of the following five EPD traits: calving ease; weaning weight; yearling weight; milk; intramuscular fat or marbling. A final requirement is that bulls must pass a breeding soundness exam within 30 days of the sale, performed by a veterinarian. The minimum scrotal circumference is 33 centimeters.

The most recent sale in October sold 34 head for a $3393 average. The March, 2013 sale had a $3137 average on 35 head.

"Over the years, the sale has mostly a commercial buyer base that is performance oriented. Repeat buyers are quite common with some firms exclusively purchasing bulls through those sales," said Eldon Cole, a University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist in Mt. Vernon. "The consignors range from first-timers to veterans who consigned to the first sale in 1973."

Bulls are not haltered and the sale order is rotated from breed-to-breed by age with the oldest selling at the first of the sale and the youngest last. Performance is viewed by the buyers as more important than age, pedigree or breeder hype. Small purebred breeders have had success offering quality bulls with top performance in this sale.

"Adjusted yearling weight is still valued highly. The average yearling weight of the October sale was 1,226 pounds. Frame size average typically runs in the low to mid-six range," said Cole.

Consignments to the sale will be accepted until Jan. 31. For entry information contact Pam Naylor, sales manager for the SW MO BCIA at 417-345-8330.

For more information, contact Cole in Mt. Vernon, at (417) 466-3102.