Start selecting 2020 Illinois Performance Tested bulls

By: Travis Meteer, University of Illinois Extension

URBANA, Ill. – Seedstock breeders should be identifying bulls they plan to consign to the 2020 Illinois Performance Tested (IPT) Bull Sale. The IPT Bull Sale is the leadoff event for the annual Illinois Beef Expo. The sale is scheduled for February 20, 2020, at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. The sale accepts bulls with a birth date range from January 1, 2018 through March 2019.

A successful 2019 sale included some of the best bulls to sell yet. “The bulls in the 2019 sale were extremely high-quality bulls with good performance pedigrees. Bull buyers seek out cattle that look the part and have EPDs that will yield profitable progeny. That is what the IPT Bull Sale provides,” says Travis Meteer, IPT Bull Sale manager.

The sale continues to expand its market through the use of an online bidding service, offering buyers multiple bidding options. “The online bidding service is helping the sale build upon an already distinguished reputation in the state of Illinois and the Midwest,” Meteer says.

Multi-trait economic selection indexes will be the foundation for determining qualification and sale order. The sale order will be based on the “% Rank” for a maternal and a terminal Dollar Value Index in each breed. The two indexes have been included in the IPT Bull Sale catalog for several years. For the respective breeds, they are: Angus- $Wean ($W), $Beef ($B); Simmental- All Purpose Index (API), Terminal Index (TI); Hereford- Baldy Maternal Index (BMI), Certified Hereford Beef index (CHB).

“These indexes are the most reliable predictor of improving profit if calves are marketed at weaning or as fed cattle,” Meteer says. “Bulls will also be required to have a calving-ease EPD in the top 85th percentile.”

The sale policy regarding genetic conditions is the same as last year. All Angus and Simmental bulls will be required to be tested free or free by pedigree of of AM, NH, and CA. Simmentals will also be required to be tested free of OS, PHA, and TH, and Hereford bulls will be required to be free of IE and Hypotrichosis. In regards to DD, bulls will be allowed to sell as long as they have been tested within the requirements of the breed association to determine carrier status.

Health requirements continue to be a focus of the sale. Requirements include the testing of all bulls for Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD) using the Persistently Infected (PI) ear notch screening system. Johne’s testing must occur on the bull’s dam or recipient dam or come from a herd that is Level 1 or higher for the Voluntary Johne’s Certification Program. All breeding soundness exams must be conducted by a veterinarian. All bulls over 24 months of age and bulls that have been exposed to cows will be required to be tested for trich. Virgin bulls under 24 months of age will need a certificate or written statement endorsed by the bull owner indicating he has not been exposed.

The number of bulls that breeders are eligible to sell in the 2020 sale will be eight, with two of these bulls not requiring the nomination fee. However, consignors selling more than six bulls will require that they index above the average for their breed at cataloging. Also, first-time consignors are limited to four bulls.

All bulls consigned to the 2020 sale will be required to have genomic-enhanced EPDs, which are more accurate and predictable. This is easily accomplished by sending a blood or hair sample into the breed-approved genetic testing lab. The sale will accept both low and high density tests to meet the requirement.

“The IPT Bull Sale is known for giving the bull buyer all necessary information to make positive herd progress,” Meteer says. “We are reducing the risk on these bulls. The bulls selling can be trusted more now than ever to sire true to their values.”

Nomination deadline and fees are three-tiered, with the following dates and costs: November 15, $75; December 1, $100; and December 15, $125. A copy of the Rules and Regulations and Nomination Form along with the past sale information is posted online at The Rules and Regulation information can also be obtained by contacting Travis Meteer at 217-430-7030 or

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