When the University of Tennessee Senior Bull Test Sale rolls around Jan. 20, 2011, potential buyers can be sure they’ll find a superior selection of more than 50 purebred Angus bulls from some of the top breeding programs in the region.

What they may also notice is that the weight gaining ability of this class of bulls is one of the best in the history of the Bull Evaluation Center.

“When the center opened in 1980, the bulls grew at an average daily gain of 3.37 pounds per day, which was very respectable at the time,” says David Kirkpatrick, UT Animal Science professor. “The average daily gain for this year’s class was 4.80, which comes out to a 42 percent increase. This indicates a significant genetic improvement was realized by purebred breeders.”

The high-gaining honors for the 2011 class of senior bulls went to the consignment of Rainbow Angus in Piney Flats, Tenn. This TC Total 410 sired bull finished the test at a rate of 5.83 pounds per day and had an adjusted 365-day weight of 1,353 pounds with a score of 6.7. Second place honors went to the consignment of Lynn Angus from Kingston Springs, Tenn., which finished the test at an average daily gain of 5.81 pounds per day and an adjusted 365-day weight of 1376 pounds.

According to Kirkpatrick, the UT Bull Evaluation Center not only provides a standard, post-weaning gain test that will furnish records for breeding programs, but it also serves producers as a place to see superior genetics firsthand, like at the Senior Bull Test Sale on Jan. 20. To be eligible to enter the Senior Bull Test Sale, bulls must complete an 84-day test that monitors weight gain performance, as well as frame size and reproductive soundness. Senior Bulls must also meet qualifications in average daily gain and yearling weight. This year 58 bulls passed the strict requirements.

The sale begins at 12:00 p.m. at the Middle Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center in Spring Hill. The Center is located on Highway 31 between Spring Hill and Columbia. Tele-video sites where bulls can be purchased over the telephone during the live auction will be available at the 4-H Camp in Greeneville and the Knoxville Livestock Center in Mascot.

To learn more about this year’s class of Senior Bulls you can view complete test reports at http://animalscience.ag.utk.edu/Beef/BullTestingProgram.html. A video copy of these reports will also be available online after Jan. 1, 2011. You can find additional information at UT Extension offices across the state or by contacting David Kirkpatrick at 865-974-4294 or email at fkirkpat@utk.edu.  

The Middle Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center is one of 10 outdoor laboratories operated by UT AgResearch, a division of the UT Institute of Agriculture. In addition to its agricultural research programs, the UT Institute of Agriculture also provides instruction, research and public service through the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine and UT Extension offices in every county in the state.