2014 NY All Forage Fed-Bull Test

8/24/2013 7:00 AM
By Nancy Glazier Cornell Cooperative Extension

Where Does Your Bull Fit In?

Work is gearing up for the second year of the New York All Forage Fed-Bull Test. The inaugural 112-day test was a success with an average gain of 2.1 pounds; predicted gain using modeling was 1.5 pounds on a diet of good quality second cutting hay and minerals.

Six consignors of the 14 bulls, consisting of five breeds, participated. Monthly updates were provided to consignors and other producers with the information posted to the website, http://ansci.cornell.edu/wp/beefcattle/.

The young bulls were body conditioned, scored and weighed every 28 days. Hip heights were measured to determine frame scores. Breeding soundness exams were performed at the conclusion of the test.

New York is well positioned to take advantage of the growing demand for pasture-finished beef due to its rich grazing resources and proximity to large urban markets.

One of the keys to profitable production of pasture-finished beef is the use of genetics that will result in a quality product within a feasible timeframe. Raising animals through a second winter presents challenges both from an economical and production standpoint.

Consequently, the ideal scenario for producers is to combine appropriate genetics and sound management to achieve good carcass quality within 20 months. This will allow producers to calve on pasture in the spring and finish animals prior to the onset of a second winter feeding season.

The forage-based test is a cost-effective option to help breeders and buyers assess and compare bull cohorts raised under commercial conditions.

The goal for the upcoming test is 30 bulls. An optional 112-day pasture test will be added. The 2014 program will begin with bull delivery early January. The stored feed test will end early May and resume after a short transition period on pasture. Dates of birth need to be from Jan. 1, 2013 to June 15, 2013.

If you are interested in consigning a bull or want additional information, contact Nancy Glazier at 585-315-7746, or at nig3@cornell.edu, or Mike Baker at 607-255-5923, or at mjb228@cornell.edu.

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