”A full house saw another strong Show-Me-Select (SMS) Replacement Heifer Program Sale at Joplin Regional Stockyards on November 17,” said Patrick Davis, University of Missouri Extension-Cedar County livestock field specialist. Even though it was a small offering, he pointed out, strong markets led to 85 heifers selling for an average of $2,906 per heifer.
“Longtime consigner John Wheeler of Marionville, Missouri, topped the sale with two lots of black baldie heifers selling for $3,500 per heifer,” said Davis. Furthermore, Wheeler sold the most heifers and had the highest average where he sold 29 heifers for an average of $3,234 per heifer. Another longtime consigner, Weber Cattle Company, sold the third most heifers and had the second highest average at $2,883 per heifer.
“One first-time consigner did well during the sale,” says Davis. Storie Farms of Conway sold the second highest number of heifers, which was 19 head, for the third highest average at $2,878 per heifer.
“New and old buyers were important to the sale,” said Davis. Randy Chandler of Anderson, who bought heifers in a previous sale, bought the two top-selling lots, consisting of seven total heifers that sold for $3,500 per heifer. New buyer A & K Farms, of Seneca, bought the most heifers at the sale which was 20 head and paid an average of $2,845 per heifer. Boulder Point Ranch of Milo, who has bought heifers in previous sales, bought the second most heifers in this sale by buying 12 heifers from Wheeler at an average price of $3,166 per heifer.
“Heifers carrying an artificial insemination pregnancy (AI) brought on average $145 more than heifers carrying a natural service pregnancy,” said Davis. Heifers bred AI typically calve earlier in the calving season, which means their calves are older and heavier at weaning, he explained. Also, since these heifers calve earlier in the calving seasons, they are more likely to rebreed, stay in the herd and be more productive over their lifetime. He added that AI-born calves may have more genetic potential for performance than natural service born calves. Therefore, Davis urges people interested in heifer development to consider using AI in their breeding protocol because it will produce bred heifer that calve earlier in the calving season, are more likely to rebreed and stay in the herd, and if producers choose to sell these heifers, they bring more money at sale time due to these reasons. All these factors help enhance cattle operation profitability.
The SMS Replacement Heifer Development Program has been the gold standard for heifer development in Missouri for about 25 years, said officials. Furthermore, other states and organizations have used parts of this program to implement similar programs. Heifer development will be important to cattle herds rebuilding following drought and this research-based educational program provides the tools to cattle producers to help them properly develop heifers to retain in their cattle herd or sell to optimize cattle operation profitability, said Davis.
Anyone interested in participating in the Missouri SMS Replacement Heifer Program or who wants more information should local MU Extension Livestock Field Specialist, Elizabeth Picking, at 417-256-2391, or visit the program website at extension.missouri.edu/programs/show-me-select-replacement-heifer-program.