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Indiana Bull Test Program Reaches Milestone

Indiana Bull Test Program Reaches Milestone
Program housed at the Feldun Purdue Ag Center breaks record.

When the 49th bull of 65 bulls was officially entered into the Indiana Bull Test Evaluation Program recently, it marked the 10,000th bull entered and evaluated in the program.

Terry Stewart, Purdue University Extension animal scientist and secretary-treasurer of IBEP felt it was a landmark worth remembering.

"The Indiana Bull Test program dates back to 1976, and has operated continuously since then," he says. Larry Nelson in animal science, with help from Ken McDonald, helped launch the program. Kern Hendrix took over from Nelson, and Stewart took the reins once Hendrix retried.

Bull testing continues: Volunteers help process bulls coming in for the summer 2013 testing program at the Feldun Purdue Ag Center near Bedford.

The Indiana Bull Test program has had three homes as well. It began at DuPont Pioneer research facilities at Tipton, moved to the Lynwood Farm at Carmel in 1981, then moved to its present home, the Feldun Purdue Ag Center near Bedford in the early '90s.

The 10,000th bull was entered into the Indiana Bull Test Program for the summer 2013 test. The top two-thirds of those bulls that also meet breeding soundness exams will be eligible for auction on Oct. 19. A winter test will follow, which typically consists of 190 to 200 bulls.

The test covers 125 days. Producers from Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky have joined producers form Indiana in entering bulls on the test. Bulls are evaluated on rate of gain, ultrasound measurements and expected progeny differences based on their maternal makeup.

"We've had fewer bulls placed on test recently, but there are also lower cattle numbers overall," Stewart says. "At the same time our sale average price has increased over the past five sales."

In fact, the program reached two other milestones within the past 12 months. The first $10,500 bull was sold at the April 2012 auction. The spring 2013 auction set a record for average sale price at $3,290.

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