Success StoryThe Best Insurance for Cattlemen- Bull Breeding Soundness Exams



The Best Insurance for Cattlemen- Bull Breeding Soundness Exams

Author: Michelle Simon

Planning Unit: Campbell County CES

Major Program: Beef

Plan of Work: Beef Cattle Production

Outcome: Long-Term Outcome

Northern Kentucky is well known for its unique topography and beef cattle production that fits the land so well. According to the 2017 USDA Agriculture Census data, there are approximately 25,250 head of cattle in the Northern Kentucky counties. These numbers have held steady and even increased despite the rapid growth of suburban and commercial areas. This consistency and growth in beef cattle production is a direct result of producer participation in Cooperative Extension programming including, but not limited to, the Bull Breeding Soundness Exam Program. The bull test program is hosted by the Northern Kentucky Cattle Association and offered to any producer that would like to have their bulls tested for breeding soundness. Boone County ANR Agent collaborated with local veterinarian, Dr. Matt Parker, to schedule the date and appointments in advance of the program and assisted during the program with the breeding soundness exam, vaccinations, deworming and weighing of the bulls. In the 18 years that this program has been offered, an average of 10 percent fail exemplifies the importance of this management practice; in the average Kentucky cow herd, a bull not sound for breeding purposes costs producers $400 per cow in one production year by the loss of a calf crop and potentially two depending on the time of year. This program has tested bulls that cover more than 1,000 cows each year and have saved producers $400,000 per year over the course of 18 years.






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