It is that time of year again — time to replenish your breeding bulls. Selecting good bulls can really pay dividends with the prices of the cattle market today. Although it doesn’t mean the prices will stay this high by the time you sell next year’s calves, the way the markets are trending, I would say it’s a good chance they will stay high for a while.
Depending on if you are looking for a calving ease, high performance or a female making bulls, bidding a few extra dollars at the sale will still be profitable for you in the future.
When selecting your bulls, be sure to use EPDs (Estimated Progeny Difference) as a selection tool. EPDs are the most reliable predictors on an animal’s true genetic merit. EPDs will predict the differences in progeny performance, and are calculated from comparisons within contemporary groups. (A group of calves that were born in the same year, calving season, herd, and are of the same sex and were fed and managed alike.) But remember the young bulls are not proven yet, so take that into consideration.
The more you know about the bull’s dam and sire’s EPDs the better idea you will have of what kind of calves the bull that you are interested in will sire for you.
— Ryan Flaming is a Kansas State Research and Extension agent for Harvey County. Agriculture is his specialty.