Pick up know-how for tackling diseases, pests and weeds.
Farm bill, farm marketing, agribusiness webinars, & farm policy.
Find tactics for healthy livestock and sound forages.
Scheduling and methods of irrigation.
Explore our Extension locations around the state.
Commercial row crop production in Arkansas.
Agriculture weed management resources.
Use virtual and real tools to improve critical calculations for farms and ranches.
Learn to ID forages and more.
Explore our research locations around the state.
Get the latest research results from our county agents.
Our programs include aquaculture, diagnostics, and energy conservation.
Keep our food, fiber and fuel supplies safe from disaster.
Private, Commercial & Non-commercial training and education.
Specialty crops including turfgrass, vegetables, fruits, and ornamentals.
Find educational resources and get youth engaged in agriculture.
Gaining garden smarts and sharing skills.
Creating beauty in and around the home.
Maintenance calendar, and best practices.
Coaxing the best produce from asparagus to zucchini.
What’s wrong with my plants? The clinic can help.
Featured trees, vines, shrubs and flowers.
Ask our experts plant, animal, or insect questions.
Enjoying the sweet fruits of your labor.
Herbs, native plants, & reference desk QA.
Growing together from youth to maturity.
Crapemyrtles, hydrangeas, hort glossary, and weed ID databases.
Get beekeeping, honey production, and class information.
Grow a pollinator-friendly garden.
Schedule these timely events on your gardening calendar.
Equipping individuals to lead organizations, communities, and regions.
Guiding communities and regions toward vibrant and sustainable futures.
Guiding entrepreneurs from concept to profit.
Position your business to compete for government contracts.
Find trends, opportunities and impacts.
Providing unbiased information to enable educated votes on critical issues.
Increase your knowledge of public issues & get involved.
Research-based connection to government and policy issues.
Support Arkansas local food initiatives.
Read about our efforts.
Preparing for and recovering from disasters.
Licensing for forestry and wildlife professionals.
Preserving water quality and quantity.
Cleaner air for healthier living.
Firewood & bioenergy resources.
Managing a complex forest ecosystem.
Read about nature across Arkansas and the U.S.
Learn to manage wildlife on your land.
Soil quality and its use here in Arkansas.
Learn to ID unwanted plant and animal visitors.
Timely updates from our specialists.
Eating right and staying healthy.
Ensuring safe meals.
Take charge of your well-being.
Cooking with Arkansas foods.
Making the most of your money.
Making sound choices for families and ourselves.
Nurturing our future.
Get tips for food, fitness, finance, and more!
Understanding aging and its effects.
Giving back to the community.
Managing safely when disaster strikes.
Listen to our latest episode!
All bulls should pass a breeding soundness exam every year. (UAPB Image)
PINE BLUFF, Ark. – “A $100 investment in your bull can provide a big return when each
calf is worth more than $1,100,” says Dr. David Fernandez, Cooperative Extension Program
livestock specialist at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
A breeding soundness exam, or BSE, costs about $50 and a trichomoniasis, called “trich”
and pronounced “trick,” test runs about the same. With October futures for 650-pound
calves hovering around $182 per hundredweight, a single calf saved will more than
pay for the cost of the tests.
As breeding season approaches, Dr. Fernandez is urging beef producers to schedule
trich and breeding soundness exams for their bulls. Generally, between 10 to 20 percent
of bulls fail a BSE a year, he says.
“At one BSE clinic conducted by Cooperative Extension, I saw four out of five bulls
brought in by one producer fail. And the bull that passed was the youngest and least
likely to breed cows. Imagine what a poor calf crop, the rancher would have had if
he or she had not culled the bulls that failed,” says Dr. Fernandez.
Breeding soundness exams should be conducted on all bulls every year. Young bulls,
under 18 months of age, frequently fail a BSE, yet mature into sound breeders as they
progress through puberty. Older bulls may fail a BSE because of injury or disease.
A BSE examines the ability of a bull to physically move about, maintain himself and
breed cows. The veterinarian will examine the bull’s feet and legs, eyes, mouth and
teeth, and body condition. He will also examine the bull for any injuries that may
make him unable to copulate.
After the general exam, the vet will measure the bull’s scrotal circumference. Bulls
with larger circumferences are more fertile and have daughters that are more fertile
and mature earlier. The vet will collect a semen sample and determine the percent
motile sperm and percent normal sperm. To be classified as a sound breeder, a bull
must have at least 30 percent motile sperm with at least 70 percent normal sperm and
a minimum scrotal circumference. If your bull does not meet these criteria, have him
tested again in 30 days advises Dr. Fernandez.
Testing 30 to 60 days before the breeding season in June gives your bull a chance
to retest or you have a chance to replace him. It is not uncommon for a bull to test
satisfactory after failing earlier in the year. Do not sell a bull that has failed
a BSE to another farmer for breeding, says Dr. Fernandez.
If you opt to purchase a new bull, be sure he has passed a BSE this year. The Arkansas
Livestock and Poultry Commission requires all bulls entering Arkansas from out of
state be tested for trichomoniasis. Trich can cause very low fertility, low pregnancy
rates, extended breeding seasons and low calf crops. The test takes several weeks
so be sure to line up a new bull early enough for testing. Make sure you are not purchasing
a problem bull from someone else.
Make sure that the bull you have now will get the job done for you this breeding season.
For more information about fertility testing or other livestock questions, contact
Dr. Fernandez at (870) 575-7214 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carol Sanders, writer/editorUAPB School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences(870) email@example.com