Warsaw, Indiana is definitely no Hooterville. Not by a long shot. But still, it's not just anywhere that you would find an article like this in the hometown paper:
Reproductive Exam Clinic for Bulls Set for April 12
So, is your bull ready for the breeding season?
One sure fire way to find out is to bring your bull to the 11th annual Reproductive Soundness Exam clinic, April 12 starting at 8 a.m. The Kosciusko County Cattlemen's Association will provide beef producers the opportunity for $55 for members of the association and $65 for non-members to have their bulls go through a RSE. Bulls will be brought to the Milford Large Animal Clinic for the 15-minute examination.
...Bulls are...required to be a minimum of 14 months of age. Too often bulls that are too young do not have a sample viable for testing.
Even if you did not have problems last season, please do not think this will give you a 100-percent guarantee that your bull will breed okay this year. I continually hear stories of beef producers who have open cows because the bull did not do its job. Remember, too, we had a cold winter and early reports are that some bulls did suffer frostbite. Having your bull go through a reproductive soundness exam may prevent surprises later in the breeding season. In fact, in 2000 and 2001 four bulls were identified as poor breeders. The owners could not tell that just by looking at them. This could easily cost these owners $10,000 or more in lost calves and open cows.
There's more, but you get the gist.
I enjoy beef as much as the next person, but there are some details I might prefer to remain ignorant of.
And, by the way, speaking of beef: What happens to the hapless bulls that are identified as "poor breeders"? This is definitely a "high steaks" game!
The quoted article appears in the Agriculture section of the April 2 edition of the Warsaw Times-Union. The author is Kelly Easterday, Extension Educator. Unfortunately, is does not appear in the paper's web edition.