Overview of the IBEP Bull Test

Details about the test are available online - read the "Rules for the Test" pdf file for the 2018 Summer Test. This document is meant to give an overview and try to answer some frequent questions.

Read the whole overview, or go straight to a specific category:
The Test StationRequirement for Entry Data Collected During the TestData Provided to us by the Bull OwnerEPDsSale EligibilitySale IndexThe SaleFinances

The Test Station

The station is located at the Feldun-Purdue Ag Center, 1117 State Road 458, Bedford, IN 47421. Brad Shelton (sheltonb@purdue.edu) is superintendant of the Ag Center, and Nick Minton (nminton@purdue.edu) is manager of the bull test station.

There are a total of eight pens, each with a capacity of about 25 head. Bulls are penned by breed and age or weight. Each pen has a dirt/sand exercise lot of about one-half acre and an open front shed. Feed is delivered as a TMR into fenceline feedbunks. The ration is forage-based with a moderate energy level, which allows bulls to express genetic differences for growth without putting on excess condition. On average, the ration dry matter contains 55% corn silage, 22% corn grain, 20% DDGS, and 3% balancer.

Two tests are conducted each year. After a 21-day pretest period, the test lasts 125 days.

Requirement for Entry

Note that in order for bulls to be eligible for IBEP auctions, they must be registered; have EPDs for Birth Weight, Weaning Weight, and Maternal Milk; and entrants must be participating in their breed association's official herd performance program, with birth and weaning data reported to and processed by their breed association.

Data Collected During the Test

Reports are sent to bull owners after each weigh day and after ultrasound data is returned by the breed associations. Weigh day reports are also posted online.

Data Provided to us by the Bull Owner

Bulls need to be registerered or on file with the appropriate breed association. Weaning data must be sent to the breed association by the owner - this is required for ultrasound data to be processed by some breed associations, and will provide you with 205-day weaning data.


EPDs for Birth Weight, Weaning Weight, and Maternal Milk are required for bulls to be in the sale. We obtain the EPDs from the breed association's web site. This requires each bull on test to be registered.

Sale Eligibility

Bulls which are not sale eligible can be taken home by the owner, or marketed for slaughter. Owners can withdraw their sale-eligible bulls from the sale, provided we are notified at least 3 weeks prior to the sale.

Sale Index

Each bull is given a within-breed percentile ranking (in *'s) for many traits, including performance during the test, EPDs, and $ Indexes. These are in deciles (10% groups). Each trait is given 1 to 10 stars, with 10 being the best: *10* (10 stars) means the bull is in the top 1-10%, *9* (9 stars) is 11-20%, and so on, with *1* (1 star) being 91-100% or the bottom 10%.

For traits measured during the test, the bulls in the test are ranked within breed; if there are fewer than 6 bulls in the breed, the bulls are ranked among all bulls in the test. For EPDs and $ Indexes, the bulls are compared to the non-parent EPDs from their breed association.

Beginning with the 2016 Winter Test, Sale index is calculated as the weighted sum of the number of *'s for six of the traits: 30% ADG, 20% WPDA, 7.5% IMF, 7.5% REA/cwt, 20% Direct Calving Ease EPD, and 15% Weaning Weight EPD (the Birth Weight EPD will be used if the bull does not have an EPD for Direct Calving Ease). The maximum Sale Index is 100.

The Sale


IBEP Home Page

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