With the onset of bull buying season, having a systematic approach to finding and identifying the “right” bull is imperative, says Dr Scott P. Greiner Extension Animal Scientist, Virginia University Tech.

Establish Selection Priorities

Concentrate on those factors which stand to have the largest impact on profitability. Remember that income is derived from performance (sale weight, percent calf crop weaned, carcass merit, etc.). Performance is a function of both genetics and environment/management. Superior genetics can be negated by poor management, which emphasizes the importance of separating the impact of management (nutrition, health program) from that of genetics when specific priorities for the herd are established. Considering both the genetic and management influences on various traits is important. Focus on the handful of priority traits rather than attempting to change many traits simultaneously. Establishing the few traits to focus on is the key factor.

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