If you want a sneak peek at this year’s crop of bulls that will be up for sale later this month from the Rainy River District Bull Test Station, you should check out its annual open house Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Charolais, Simmental, Hereford, Angus, and Gelbvieh are the five breeds that will be on display at the open house, both from local and U.S. producers.
Tammy Hunsperger, secretary/treasurer for the bull test station, spent yesterday getting the bulls weighed, measuring their scrotums and hip height, and having their marbling checked with ultra-sounds.
“They’re going to have their final weigh sheets for Saturday,” she said.
Hunsperger noted 32 bulls were tested at the station although she doesn’t know how many of them passed for sale yet. Station manager Ken Fisher said he would have the results in tomorrow but expected at least 20 would be good for the sale slated March 20 at 1 p.m.
“They’re looking good,” he said. “They’re all good.”
To pass the testing, a bull must be above a minus-five expected progeny difference (EPD), Fisher explained, in addition to having a good scrotum measurement and structural soundness.
“You’ve got to check your numbers out,” Hunsperger stressed, noting all the bulls will be semen checked before they’re sold.
Fisher said the open house is when most of the interest is stirred up from local buyers. But he added buyers from outside the region already have started to make inquiries.
“I’ve got lots of contacts from the States and lots from Manitoba,” he noted. “Vita, Man. seems to be fairly strong.”
“They’ve actually got interest right away from Vita and places like that in Manitoba,” echoed Hunsperger. “They’ve done a lot more advertising than usual.”
Last year’s bull sale saw things pick up a bit compared to the previous two years.
“I hope [this year] it would be better yet,” Fisher said.