Nicolas DiLorenzo, UF/IFAS Beef Specialist, NFREC Marianna
Nominations are currently being accepted for the 2022-23 Florida Bull Test. To qualify for the 2022-23 Test, bulls must have been born between August 15 and December 31 of 2021. If you would like to nominate bulls, please submit the Florida Bull Test Nomination Form by June 15. Rules and entry forms, and the 2022 schedule are available on the Florida Bull Test web page, or by calling 850-526-1611 for additional information.
The Florida Bull Test is starting its 23rd edition, and it continues providing timely and valuable information to producers to make sound decisions about beef cattle genetics in their herds and seedstock operations. In a survey conducted in the 2020 Florida Bull Test Sale, buyers indicated that calves sired from bulls purchased from the Florida Bull Test have a perceived increased value of $67/head. The test provides the opportunity to measure growth and performance over a period of 112 days, taking advantage of the technology at the University of Florida’s Feed Efficiency Facility to measure individual feed intake and feed efficiency. In addition, the test provides an opportunity for consignors to market superior genetics through the Florida Bull Sale and to commercial producers to have access to performance-tested sires. The inclusion of online bidding has expanded the reach of the test, with potential buyers being able to access high-quality videos of the bulls and catalog information on the Florida Bull Test web page.
New to this Year
Due to substantial increases in feed prices, the Bull Test Committee has decided to increase the cost of enrolling a bull in the test to $1,200/bull, in order to ensure the sustainability of this important program for the region. The Committee also decided to postpone the enforcing of required parent verification in all bulls enrolled in the Test in 2022 with the intent of participating in the 2023 Florida Bull Test Sale. The committee is fully aware of the importance of existing genomic tools in enhancing the selection of superior bull genetics, mainly by improving the accuracy of EPDs in young bulls. Also, the committee is aware of the importance of verifying the pedigree of the bulls in the Sale. However, given the need to increase the cost of enrolling bulls in the test, the decision was made to postpone this requirement to avoid an additional economic burden for bull consignors. We will continue to highlight in the catalog bulls that are parent-verified for the 2023 Sale. As in the last year, NFREC staff can collect blood samples on the bulls delivered for the 2022 Test, and if a consignor chooses so, the sample could be mailed directly from NFREC to be tested. The consignor will be responsible for the cost of the sample analyses for parent verification, while the research and extension programs of Drs. Gonella-Diaza and DiLorenzo will cover the cost of the supplies for blood sample collection.
Results from the 2021-22 Florida Bull Test Sale
The 2021-22 Florida Bull Test Sale was successfully completed on January 15, 2022 at the University of Florida, North Florida Research and Education Center. The sale for the 22nd edition of this valuable extension program featured a total of 59 bulls from 4 different breeds, grossing $205,500, with an average of $3,483 per lot. SimAngus bulls averaged $3,278 on 23 lots, while Angus bulls averaged $3,692 on 25 lots. Simmental bulls averaged $3,450 on 10 lots, and the only Red Angus bull sold for $3,300. The high-selling bull was lot 25 (Angus), LHH Enhance 5209 Z02 H13, selling for $6,900, and was consigned by Mr. Hubert Hightower from Monticello, FL.
Overall Performance and Bull Test Winners
Results of the 2021-22 Florida Bull Test showed an overall average ADG of 3.69 lb/day, with a feed intake of 23.61 lbs of DM/day and an average feed-to-gain ratio of 8.11 measured on the first 56 days of the test while on the Feed Efficiency Facility. Table 1 shows a summary of the top performing bulls in each of the breed categories. The overall top indexing bull was HBR Big Mack 195 P (Charolais), consigned by Rogers Bar HR. The index used to rank bulls is calculated as the sum of average daily gain (ADG) and weight per day of age (WDA). The Top Feed Efficiency bull based on the lowest value of residual feed intake (RFI) was the Angus bull LHH Sure Fire K62 D3 H16, consigned by Mr. Hubert Hightower.
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