Bulls at the Tucumcari Feed Efficiency Test whose food intake was measured using the GrowSafe System showed improvement this year compared to last year. The feed efficiency test is conducted at New Mexico State University's Agricultural Science Center at Tucumcari. (NMSU photo by Jane Moorman)
Tucumcari Bull Sale at NMSU facility an all-around success
By Jane Moorman, 505-249-0527, email@example.com
TUCUMCARI $mdash; The annual Tucumcari Bull Sale was a triple winner for the animals, producers and victims of recent Western Plains wildfires.
The animals' feed-to-weight gain was excellent, sale prices were high and funds were donated to the wildfire relief fund.
The Tucumcari Feed Efficiency Test held at New Mexico State University's Agricultural Science Center at Tucumcari had the largest bull test in its 56 years of existence.
Of the 155 bulls starting the test, 126 were selected by the 16 participating producers to participate in the bull sale. Only the top 100 performing bulls reached the sale.
"The bulls averaged 3.84 pounds of gain per day, with an average end weight of 1,134 pounds," said bull test director Marcy Ward, NMSU Cooperative Extension Service livestock specialist. "This is only six pounds lighter than the 2016 test, but with 50-day younger calves."
This was the second performance test where the computerized GrowSafe System was used.
"For those bulls whose intake was measured using the GrowSafe System, feed efficiency showed improvement this year," Ward said. "For example, in Group A, efficiency averaged 5.37 pounds of feed per one pound of gain (F:G), compared to Group A in 2016, which had an average of 6.1 F:G."
This year's sale management was changed to better meet the needs of the buyers and reduce the stress on the bulls.
"All bulls making the sale were sold via their video, versus live in the sale ring," Ward said. "This allowed the sale to progress more efficiently, and buyers were able to leave in an organized and timely manner. More than 150 people were in attendance at this year's sale."
The overall sale average was $3,270 per bull. Five Red Angus brought an average of $3,730, while three Herefords brought an average of $3,600. The solo Charolais got $3,500.
The bulk of the animals in the test and sale were Angus with 76 bulls. The average price for this breed was $3,208.
"Given the recent tragedy of the Western Plains wildfires, some bull proceeds and donated items were auctioned off to contribute to the relief fund efforts," Ward said. "A grand total of $5,400 was raised for the cause."