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Sunflower Supreme Replacement Heifer Program


Re-Cap of Required Procedures:sunflower supreme

·         Vaccinations, including Bangs

·         Breeding soundness exam

·         Sire CE EPD and A.I. accuracies

·         BVD-PI negative

·         Pregnancy confirmation and calving date

·         60 day breeding season


Enrollment and Beef Quality Assurance Certification:

    Any Kansas resident wanting to certify that heifers have followed Sunflower Supreme guidelines must be a member of the Sunflower Supreme Heifer Program.  An annual membership fee of $20 will be assessed per producer and must be paid before heifers are individually enrolled.  This membership fee is due at either one of two enrollment deadlines, February 1 or October 1.  Spring-calving herds must be enrolled before February 1 and Fall-calving herds prior to October 1, in the year of breeding. Producers must enroll by notifying their local extension agent.

    Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certification is required of participants.  Training will be offered via the extension office, or can be completed via online training.  Certification numbers will be required as a form of identification, and certification lasts for 3 years.  Training dates and further information about BQA certification can be found at local county extension offices.  

**If BQA certification was completed via vet school programs, sign in use user name and password that was provided, and find the Transcript Reference Number.  This is  your official BQA certification number.  Also, the date completed will be on the same page and is needed for recording purposes.**

Video walking through procedure for finding the number can be found at this link: http://youtu.be/Mf0o0IHWnVU

*** To complete online BQA training go to the Animal Care Training Website, managed by the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University (http://www.animalcaretraining.org/index.aspx).  Once you are at this site, click on training offerings, then BQA and Beef Cattle Care and complete either the Cow-Calf Beef Quality Assurance, or if you are wanting more than just Cow-Calf training you can complete the Comprehensive Beef Quality Assurance.  Both training packages are the same cost and provide valuable guidance.



    Heifers must either be raised by the producer or can be purchased and re-located to producers operation a minimum of 60 days prior to breeding.  All purchased heifers, once on the property must receive vaccinations against IBR, BVD, PI3, BRSV, Leptospirosis (5-way), Vibriosis/Campylobacter, and 7-way Clostridia and turned into the local extension agent.  Heifers must be owned by residents of Kansas to be eligible for Sunflower Supreme certification. If you choose to use an affidavit of prior ownership, please complete the Weaning and Booster Vaccinations paperwork and the Affidavit of Ownership and Vaccination of Heifers paperwork.  Reminder: it is NOT a requirement for purchased heifers to have an affidavit.


Vaccination and health requirements:

    Vaccination guidelines should be administered under the guidance of a licensed veterinarian using the guidelines listed below.  Documentation of vaccinations and injection technique is to be turned in to local extension agent.

    Calfhood: Vaccination against Brucellosis (Bangs) must be given in accordance with state and federal regulations by a licensed veterinarian.  Regulations require vaccination between ages 4-12 months of age.

    Weaning or immediately before: Heifers must be vaccinated and boostered (2-3 weeks following 1st injection) for IBR, BVD (Type I and II), PI3, BRSV, Leptospirosis (5-way), Vibriosis/Campylobacter, and 7-way Clostridia.  Control of internal and external parasites is recommended.  Follow label directions and BQA guidelines for all products used. 

    Pre-breeding: Vaccinations against Leptospirosis (5-way), Vibriosis/Campylobacter, IBR, and BVD must be given 30-60 days before breeding.  Follow label directions and BQA guidelines for all products used.

    Pregnancy check: A booster vaccination against Leptospirosis (5-way) is required at initial pregnancy check, to occur within 90 days after the start of the breeding season.


Testing requirement:

    A BVD-PI test must be completed and only negative heifers can be enrolled in the program.  The test can be completed at any point, but it is strongly recommended to perform at weaning.  A copy of the test results are required to be turned into local extension office as only “negative” heifers can be certified.


Breeding guidelines:

    Pre-breeding evaluation: Individual animal identification, weight, body condition score, and a breeding soundness examination obtained approximately six weeks ahead of start of the breeding season by a trained veterinarian is required for heifers.  The breeding soundness of heifers will be scored using the Kanas State University 3-point system (R - Ready, I-Intermediate, & S-Stocker). The classification guidelines are described in Table 1.  Additionally, a visual appraisal of the heifers must be completed to make sure that all female anatomy appendages are present (ie 4 teats and a vulva).  Stocker classified heifers and those missing essential anatomy appendages cannot be enrolled in the program.

Table 1. Breeding Soundness Exam for Heifers





Pelvic Area

Pelvic Shape





>150 sq. cm






>150 sq. cm


S 4




<150 sq.cm


1 BCS = body condition score based on scale 1-9

2 Weight objectives should be based on expected mature weight (i.e. Herd average weight is 1300 lbs then 55% of mature weight would be ~715 lbs).

3 RTS = reproductive tract score this takes into account where heifers are currently cycling, uterine tone, and ovarian structures.

4 Stocker heifers are classified as “S” if they fall into any of the mentioned objectives, if they are freemartins, already pregnant, or missing essential female anatomical appendages.  Stockers are not eligible for enrollment.


    After pre-breeding examinations, turn in form to local extension agent.  At the same time make sure bulls are approved by local extension agent, based on EPD and accuracy requirements.

A breeding soundness exam, to be completed by a licensed veterinarian, is also recommended for all natural service sires.

    Breeding Programs: Regardless of use of natural service sires and A.I., the breeding season can only be a total of 60 days. Synchronization program options are included on a separate sheet and producers who are utilizing A.I. are encouraged to pick a program and schedule a breeding timeline.  Artificial insemination sires must have a minimum accuracy of 0.60 in the year they will be used. 

Heifers must not be exposed for natural service for a minimum of 14 days following artificial insemination.

    Strict guidelines for sire selection are required to help minimize calving difficulty.  Eligible sires must have a known ID and be registered with their respective breed association.  Only official EPDs reported by the respective requirements listed in Table 2.  If no calving ease (CE) is offered by the breed registry then birth weight EPD can be used. Sires must be approved by local extension agent to ensure sires meet guidelines prior to use.


Table 2. EPD requirements for sires



























Maine Angou






Red Angus


* If your breed is not represented please contact for values



Black Hereford


EPD requirements for sire usage are based on yearly percentile rankings.

Breed Group - CE Percentile Requirement
American - Upper 20%
British - Upper 30%
Continental - Upper 15%
Hybrid - Upper 20%


Pregnancy Examination:

    Sunflower Supreme heifers will be confirmed pregnant with a good-faith, accurate predicted calving date based on any available technology to estimate fetal age.  Initial pregnancy examination must occur within 90 days after the start of the breeding season with a follow-up confirmation completed a maximum of 2 weeks prior to sale.  Expected calving date should be determined and reported with sale.  At initial pregnancy examination, pregnant heifers will be identified as Sunflower Supreme by a visual eartag.  The certification cost is $7.50 per pregnant heifer.  At this time heifers can be marketed as Sunflower Supreme Bred Replacement Heifers, without the visual eartag heifers have NOT met the requirements of the program.


Special Sunflower Supreme Hosted Sale Eligibility Requirements:

    Heifers not enrolled at pre-breeding are not eligible for sale in the Sunflower Supreme hosted sale.  Only bred heifers that have been tagged with the “official” Sunflower Supreme tag may be marketed as a Sunflower Supreme heifer.  All bred heifers will be sold on a per head basis.  Cost associated with selling bred heifers in the special sale will be charged a $5.00 per head fee.  Heifers will be evaluated on sale day, to guarantee that heifers sold are in correct BCS and blemish-free. 

    Parasite control: All heifers must be treated for internal and external parasites within 30 days of sale.  Products for internal parasite control must have a label claim for immature stages of the parasite life cycle.  A copy of receipt of wormer can be turned into extension agent.

    Surgery: Horns and scurs must be removed and completely healed by sale.  Additionally, heifers should be identified as polled/horned for sale catalog.

    Implants and MGA: It is recommended that heifers not be implanted, but if they are then it is required that only FDA approved products for replacement heifers be used and administered according to label directions.  Use of MGA for synchronization methods is permitted, but long-term use of MGA is prohibited.

    Blemishes: Heifers with active cases of pinkeye or scars resulting from pinkeye (size greater than pencil eraser) are not eligible for sale.  Additionally, heifers with rat-tails, bob-tails, frozen ears, lameness, or other physical blemishes or deformities will not be eligible for the special sale.  These guidelines are to be enforced as market values dictate reduction in value for cattle with the aforementioned blemishes.  Bad disposition will be evaluated by local extension agents, utilizing a predetermined scale method, at time certified ear tags are place in heifers’ ear. 

    Body condition: Bred heifers must have a body condition score between 5 and 7 on a 9 point scale. 

    Pregnancy: A confirmatory pregnancy examination must be performed within two weeks of special sale.  Heifers must have paperwork signed by a veterinarian indicating date of evaluation and individual heifer pregnancy status.  A veterinarian will be on-site to do additional pregnancy evaluations if the co-signer or the purchaser so deems.  Once heifers are confirmed pregnant and leave the special sale facility, all sales are final.


Certification and paperwork:

    Certification occurs for any heifer that completed the afore-mentioned guidelines and receives the official eartag; selling in the special sale is not a requirement.  Data collection sheets, calendar of guidelines, and other educational material will be in the Sunflower Supreme packet that local extension agents will have.  After membership is paid, your local extension agent will walk through the details of the paperwork and help with scheduling of important events.  Only heifers that meet the requirements listed on this sheet with individual data entered in the official database for Sunflower Supreme will be eligible to receive certification which will be inserted at initial pregnancy diagnosis.    Deadlines for paperwork to be turned in to the local extension unit are described below:


Sheet Name






Feb 1

Oct 1




Jan 15

June 1



Purchased heifers Vaccination

May 1

Sept 1




June 1

Nov 1



Breeding & Preg Check

Preg Check/Certification


$7.50/ hfr

Sale lot

Oct 1

Apr 1




Questions and Enrollment:

    Contact your local extension agent about questions regarding the program and to enroll your operation.