AMES, IOWA – At the final sale of the season for the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association Bull Evaluation Program, the average price of the bulls broke a record for the fourth sale in a row. The run began May 2011 at the Tama Livestock Auction when the average price was $2,416. In March 2012, at the first ICA sale of the year, the bulls averaged $2,726 at the Bloomfield Livestock Market; and at the next sale at Dunlap Livestock Auction that same month, bulls averaged $3,339. The result of the May 4, 2012 sale at Tama of 61 bulls was $3,420.

The price of open heifers at the Tama sale also increased for the third year in a row. The 58 heifers averaged $1,600. In 2011, the price was $1,378; and in 2010, $1,252. The program for ICA’s performance evaluated heifers was established in 1999; the heifers are sold only during the Tama Livestock auction.

“There are three reasons these average prices keep increasing,” says Kellie Carolan, ICA’s seedstock manager Carolan says. “First, our consignors are putting good cattle in a program with 27 years of history. Second, the buyers are looking for the kind of bulls and heifers that will help us grow the cow-calf segment, and these bulls will definitely improve the commercial cow herd. The third reason is that there are record cattle prices across the industry.”

Several commercial cattlemen selected their new herd sires at the ICA bull sale held in Tama. The sale included Angus, Simmental, Charolais and Simmental Composite bulls which had been assessed through the bull evaluation program (BEP), and met the criteria established by ICA members on the Performance Evaluation Committee.

The top seller for the Tama sale and for the 2012 sales was an Angus bull, a son of ‘Sitz Upward 307,’ which sold for $10,000. That is the second highest price paid for a bull in the 27-year-old program. In 1987, Ed Benson of Irwin sold an Angus bull for $10,600. The 2012 bull was Lot 262 owned by Steve Wical of Grundy Center. The bull caught the attention of many cattle producers, and was sold to Noelck Farms, Hampton.

The top selling Simmental bull was consigned by Craig Utesch of Correctionville. Lot 283, a son of ‘CNS Dream On L186,’ was purchase by Lee and Lois Kovar of Kovar Farms in Victor. The purchase price to take home this bull was $4,900.

Of the Simmental Composites, Lot 294, a son of ‘Triple U Bull U43’ was the top-seller at $4,300. This blaze-faced black bull from Cody and Jessica Wilson of Pierson went home with a long-time buyer of ICA’s BEP bulls, Lee Faris of Mount Ayr.

The top selling Charolais bull was consigned by Daniel Wakefield of New Richland, MN. Lot 266 was the top-gaining Charolais in this sale at 5.14 pounds of average daily gain. Pat Ryan, Decorah, took him home with a bid of $3,400.

“These bulls represented the top cut of our Tama test bulls based on growth, carcass traits, yearling weights, disposition and scrotal circumference,” says Carolan. The bulls carried some of the breed’s best pedigrees for calving ease, performance and carcass merit and their test data showed it with 4.5 pounds per day of gain on-test.” The following is a breakdown of the number of bulls by breed or type and the sale average for that category.

                        # Head            Average $

Angus                   42                  $3,542

Simmental             11                  $3,263

Sim Composite        5                   $3,180

Charolais                 3                  $2,700

Total                             61                  $3,420

The top-selling heifers at the Tama sale were Lots 433 and 435, both consigned by Butch and Patsy Neumeyer of Walker. The Angus heifers both sold for $2,700 and went home with Gary Kellogg of Colo, who selected several other open heifers at the sale.

The next highest selling heifer was Lot, #363, a Simmental owned by Craig Utesch and Jessica Wilson, both of Correctionville. This heifer sold for $2,600 to Chris Nelson of Stanton.

To see the caliber of cattle sold at all three 2012 auctions, you can find catalogs and videos of these lots at, under the ICA Programs tab.

The ICA Bull Evaluation Program has been in place since 1985. The goal of the program is to provide bulls that meet the program’s two basic objectives: 1) evaluate high-quality bulls in a common environment to benefit seedstock producers and; 2) identify and merchandise a select group of bulls, which excel in traits that have a high economic value.

For more information about the ICA Bull Evaluation Program, contact Kellie Carolan at the ICA office at 515-296-2266.