Tucumcari Bull Test sale set for Friday

By Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

Producers from New Mexico, including Tucumcari, Texas and Oklahoma will sell 73 performance tested bulls at Friday’s 47th Annual Bull Test. Also on sale will be 59 virgin replacement heifers.

The sale takes place at New Mexico State University Agricultural Experiment Station, about three miles east of Tucumcari, beginning at 1 p.m.

The bull test was completed on March 4, with the 73 bulls on test averaging 3.90 pounds of gain per day over the 112-day test, said Manny Encinias, a beef cattle nutrition specialist for New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Service based at the Clayton Livestock Research Center.

Because the bulls are all being fed the same rations, the test provides for an expression of the genetic differences among the various breeds as well as the line of a particular breed, Encinias said.

This year’s test features bulls fed on a higher forage diet and provides genetic markers for each bull, Encinias said.
The genetic information has generated a lot of interest, Encinias said. “I’ve had people call me from North Dakota, Kansas and New Zealand. Genetics don’t lie,” he said.

Last year’s bulls ranged in price from $1,400 to $3,600 and Encinias is hopeful this week’s sale will be stronger because of changes in the performance test.

The son of a Hereford sire owned by Tucumcari rancher Robert Abercrombie was one the bulls with the highest indexing, with 114.2 points in its division.

The high indexing sires within their division are:

• MDP Tear Drop 211, Hereford, Abercrombie Ranch, Tucumcari
• GCR Bats Supreme L87, Charolais, Smith Charolais’, Las Vegas
• EXAR Professioanl 4141, Angus, Hartzog Angus Cattle, Farwell, Texas
• DVMM Jazz, Maine-Anjou, Vagabond Cattle Co., Roswell

The test index was based on the following: 40 percent average daily gain, 40 percent weight per day of age and 20 percent feed efficiency to evaluate complete performance during the test. The bulls highest in their division and their indexing and owners are:
• The Hereford division was led by bull 3-2, a son of MDP Tear Drop 211 owned by Abercrombie Ranch of Tucumcari who completed the test as the high indexing individual at 114.2.
• Smith Charolais’ of Las Vegas son of WM Cigar Blanco 7441P, bull 8-2, finished the test with the highest index, 115.6, of the Charolais bulls enrolled in this year’s test.
• Bull 14-3, a son of Exar Pprofessional 4141, owned by Hartzog Angus Cattle of Farwell, Texas, completed the test as the high indexing bull (115.7) in the competitive 30-head Angus division.
• Vagabond Cattle Co. of Roswell, Draftpick son, bull 22-1, edged out the competition to lead the Maine-Anjou division with a test index of 116.3.

Unlike previous years, this year’s sale offering was performance tested on a forage-based diet and are ready to go to work, Encinias said.

This year’s rations have not been as hot, or energy dense, Abercrombie said.

The higher forage diet has translated into an economic investment for breeders and it will also be beneficial for producers because it prepares them for future range environment.

In other words, the bulls’ transition to the buyers’ ranches will be smoother on the livestock because the forage is similar to what is found on the range. The bulls also will be leaner and in better shape to go to work, Abercrombie said.
It is the first year the test is providing DNA markers with each bull from GeneStar, Encinias said. Buyers can evaluate the bull’s genetics and markers.

All performance tested bulls will sell with complete performance data (average daily gain, weight per day of age, and feed efficiency), ultrasound data, and GeneSTAR DNA marker profiles for quality grade, tenderness, and feed efficiency. Also, all sale bulls will be fertility-tested, and verified negative for Trichomoniasis and PI-BVD prior to the sale.

Fifty-nine heifers will also be on sale. They include a deep set of quality, yearling replacement heifers offered from the heart of the cow herds at Grau Charolais, D&J Cattle, Hartzog Angus Cattle, and A Lazy 6 Angus Ranch. The 59-head registered Angus and Charolais heifer offering will be virgin and verified negative for PI-BVD.


* 6 p.m., Thursday, pre-sale bull session and social with breeders, Quality Inn, 3716 E Tucumcari Blvd.
* 11:30 a.m., Friday, lunch. At 1 p.m., the 47th Annual Bull and Heifer sale, the New Mexico State University Agricultural Experiment Station.
Information: Manny Encinias, (575) 927-7935.
Also visit: http://cahe.nmsu.edu/
beefperformancetest for performance reports as well as EPDs, and GeneSTAR marker results.