Pennsylvania beef producers can nominate their best bulls for the 2015-16 Pennsylvania Livestock Evaluation Center Performance Bull Testing Program by August 20.

“The program tests bulls in similar, unbiased conditions, making it easy to compare and understand the value of each bull’s genetics,” said Greg Hubbard, the center’s manager. “It also provides consignors a unique opportunity to market their bulls to purebred and commercial producers from across the northeast who know the value of high-quality stock.”

Producers can nominate beef bulls born between January 1 – April 15, 2015. Bulls may be registered purebred or be crossbred from two registered parents.

The program measures weight gain, feed efficiency, muscle development and fat deposition over a 112-day testing period. At the conclusion of the 112-day growth trial, the bulls will be scanned ultrasonically to determine fat thickness, loin-eye area and intramuscular fat. The bulls will receive a complete breeding soundness exam and full set of calculated performance traits.

Producers can purchase the top approximately 75 percent of bulls following the performance test at the 2016 Pennsylvania Performance Tested Bull Sale on March 25, 2016. Bulls that do not qualify for the sale may be removed by the consignor.

The center will also accept a limited number of heifers, space permitting, for the Pennsylvania Heifer Development Program. Producers can nominate heifers for this growth and breeding management program, designed to help small Pennsylvania beef producers manage the unique requirements of replacement heifers.

Fees and yardage will be assessed in both programs to defray feed, facilities and testing expenses.

The testing programs and sale are conducted by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with Penn State University and the Pennsylvania Cattlemen’s Association.