Date: 4/2/2014 12:00:00 AM

Title: Bull prices in Bloomfield up from year ago

For the fourth year in a row, the average sale price of the bulls in ICA’s Bloomfield sale was up from the previous year.

A total of 37 bulls were offered, and the average sale price was $3,000. In 2013, the average sale price in Bloomfield was $2,910.

The sale included yearling Angus, senior yearling Angus and senior yearling Simmental composite bulls that had been assessed through the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association Bull Evaluation Program. Several commercial cattlemen selected their new herd sires during the sale held at the Bloomfield Livestock Market on Mar. 17.

For example, Curtis Claeys, Delmar, took home three bulls from the sale. “I had never bought performance evaluated bulls before, but we wanted to improve our herd, so 7 to 8 years ago I started buying bulls through the ICA sales,” he said.

“There’s a nice selection there, and we’re happy with the improved performance we’ve been seeing in our calves.”

That’s important to Claeys because he’s going to start finishing his calves. This year he took a strong look at the yearly weights provided in the sale catalogs.

Calving ease is also critical. “We had never calved many heifers, but we’ve added about 30 to 40 in the past few years, and we look closely at that now,” Claeys said. Currently, Claeys has about 240 cows and heifers – half spring and half fall calving, and both calving seasons need to run smoothly, he said.

Top sellers
The top seller at Bloomfield was a yearling Angus bull, a son of ‘Sitz Upward 307R.’ This Lot 27 bull was a consignment from Larry Bridgewater of Walker, and longtime ICA bull test buyer, Gerald Ehrig of Grundy Center, won the honors of taking the bull home for $4,600.

The top selling senior yearling bull was also consigned by Larry Bridgewater of Walker. Lot 61 is a son of previous Bloomfield sale topper, ‘Deppe 628 Upward 008.’ This September bull delivers with a low birthweight, performance and carcass traits. Lyle Gamble of Hedrick bought this bull for $4,200.

The following is a breakdown of the bulls by age, and the sale average for each category.

                            # Head         Average $
Yearling Angus        25              $2,914
Senior Yearlings      12              $3,179
Total                        37              $3,000

“These bulls represented the top cut of our Bloomfield test bulls based on growth, carcass traits, yearling weights, disposition and scrotal circumference,” said Kellie Carolan, ICA Seedstock Manager. “The bulls carried some of the breed’s best pedigrees for calving ease, performance and carcass merit and their test data showed it. Yearling bulls averaged 4.6 pounds per day of gain on-test and the senior yearling bulls averaged 3.9 pounds per day of gain on test.”

The final sale of ICA’s evaluation program livestock will be May 2 in Tama, and it will include bulls and heifers.

Catalogs and videos of bulls and heifers for both past and upcoming sales can be found at the ICA website, Check the Bull & Heifer Evaluation under the ICA Programs drop down menu. You can also call 515-296-2266 to receive a catalog of an upcoming sale.

The ICA Bull Evaluation Program has been in place since 1985. The goal of the program is to provide bulls that meet the program’s two basic objectives: 1) evaluate high-quality bulls in a common environment to benefit seedstock producers and; 2) identify and merchandise a select group of bulls, which excel in traits that have a high economic value.