Projects & Results

Extension Animal Science and Natural Resources is involved in several projects, including research, sales, and much more.

Tucumcari Bull Test

The Tucumcari Bull Test is jointly sponsored by the New Mexico Beef Cattle Performance Association (NMBCPA), the Cooperative Extension Service, and the Agricultural Experiment Station of New Mexico State University. Objectives of the test are:

  1. to compare gainability and feed conversion of bulls, and their sires;

  2. to encourage herd improvement through the use of performance tested bulls; and

  3. to demonstrate relationships among the production traits measured, in order to develop better methods of selection.

Bulls are delivered to the facility located at the Agricultural Science Center at Tucumcari in October, are placed on a 22-day warmup ration, then fed on official test for 112 days. Qualifying bulls are then offered at auction on the third Friday of March. To review the complete Operations Manual for the test click on the Tucumcari Bull Test and Heifer Development Website link below.

Heifer Development Program Available pens at the test facility are available to producers for a Heifer Development Program. The objective of the program is to feed heifers to the target weights that are deemed to be appropriate for heifers to be bred as yearlings to calve first at two years of age. For further information, click on the Tucumcari Bull Test and Heifer Development Website link below.

NMSU Purebred Cattle Program & Sale

The Department of Animal and Range Sciences maintains three purebred cattle herds for the purpose of teaching, research, and demonstration.

The Angus herd was initiated in 1979. The majority of this herd is maintained at the Corona Range and Livestock Research Center (CRLRC) in central New Mexico under the management of Shad Cox with the remainder of the herd being maintained at the Chihuahuan Desert Rangeland Research Center (CDRRC) near Las Cruces under the direction of Brian Samson.

The Brangus herd which was initiated in 1966 and the Brahman herd which was initiated in 1999 are maintained at the CDRRC. All mature cows in these herds are managed as range cattle with limited supplementation and assistance at calving.

Breeding season for the mature cows in the Angus herd at the CRLRC begins in June and involves estrus synchronization and artificial insemination followed by a 45-day clean-up period. Breeding season for the mature cows at the CDRRC involves natural service mating from May 1 - August 1.

All heifers from these herds are developed, estrus synchronized, and artificially inseminated on the NMSU campus each spring before being placed with clean-up bulls at the research centers. The heifers that become pregnant from this management system return to the NMSU campus to have their first calf under the assistance and observation of the students within the Department of Animal and Range Sciences. All open yearling heifers in the Angus and Brangus herds are culled.

Heifers and bulls from the program are made available through a spring auction held each year. For additional information call Eric Scholljegerdes (575-646-1750), Neil Burcham (575-646-2309) or Adam Summers (575-646-1549).

Extension Dairy Program

The Extension Dairy program provides NM dairies with sound scientific information related to environmental impacts such as carbon footprint, air emissions, water usage, etc. as an asset in federal or state regulatory matters, as well as a tool to help show public stakeholders about the industry's economic and environmental impact.

A recently completed study indicates that the #9 nationally ranked dairy industry has an economic impact of $1.6B, while the milk produced creates another $2.8B in the State of NM. This means that every one of the current 160 or so dairies contributes $10M annually to the state's economy and in doing so provides employment for about 20 people directly and more than 50 jobs indirectly.

Collectively the dairies and milk processing facilities in the Southwest generate about $17B, while providing 60,000 jobs, this while their environmental impact has been reduced drastically due to better efficiencies of converting resources to product.