March 3, 2011

Annual Performance Tested Bull Sale Set for March 25

Beef producers can make informed decisions about genetics and marketing beef cattle thanks to specialized testing conducted by the Center for Beef Excellence, Department of Agriculture and Livestock Evaluation Center.  

For the second year, genetic marker testing will be conducted on all performance tested bulls selling in the 38th annual Performance Tested Bull Sale. The sale is set for noon Friday, March 25, at the Livestock Evaluation Center in Pennsylvania Furnace, Centre County.  

“The Center for Beef Excellence is committed to finding ways to help Pennsylvania beef producers operate successful, profitable business,” said Willard Lemaster, the center’s executive director. “Offering this advanced technology for the second year provides producers another tool to improve and market the genetics in their herds, which in turn will help boost their bottom lines.”

The new genetic profile will complement information measured during the test, including weaning and yearling weights, feed efficiency, rate of gain and scrotal circumference.  

The advanced technology studies the animals’ genes. Genes with economically important traits provide breeding values that can be used in calculating expected progeny differences, or EPDs, specific to each breed. EPDs provide estimates of the genetic value of an animal as a parent.  

Lemaster added that the new genomic profiles can help producers make informed decisions when selecting new genetics and marketing the offspring.    

Each beef breed association has its own tests and genetic profiles, and Lemaster recommends producers contact the associations to determine which is appropriate for their specific breeding programs.  

“We are pleased to partner in the bull testing program and hope these genetic tests will offer new opportunities for producers and their herds,” said Lemaster.    

For more information about Pennsylvania’s beef industry or the Center for Beef Excellence, contact Lemaster at 717-705-1689 or Lemaster@beefexcellence.com.  

Media contact: Jean Kummer, 717-787-5085: jkummer@state.pa.us