Search news


Story source




Extension news

MU news

MU news media

ADA Accessibile AddThis Widget

Show-Me-Select heifer prices go low at first Farmington sale


Duane Dailey
University of Missouri Extension
Phone: 573-882-9181

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016

Story sources:

Kendra Graham, 573-756-4539David J. Patterson, 573-882-7519Eldon Cole, 417-466-3102

FARMINGTON, Mo. – The first Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer sale of the fall season sold 117 head for an average of $1,518.

This was the second Farmington sale for SMS heifer producers in eastern Missouri. “I was pleased, considering the uncertainty in the cattle market,” said Kendra Graham, sale coordinator. She is regional livestock specialist for University of Missouri Extension.

The consignors are enrolled in a yearlong MU Extension program to add value to beef herds, especially in genetics.

The top heifer in the sale sold for $2,950. That was a registered Angus consigned by Turner Farms, Belgrade. The buyer was John Cunningham, Bonne Terre.

Although the average price was lower than hoped, market volatility clearly affects buyers needing to purchase bred replacements, said David Patterson, MU Extension beef specialist and creator of the SMS program.

This was the first of six fall sales. “Past years suggest we may expect increases in prices through the fall,” Patterson said. “Repeat buyers add to the sales. They know what they are getting.”

Graham, the organizer, said 63 bidders registered, with 19 buying heifers.

The sale, Farmington’s first fall sale of spring-calving heifers, must build a buyer base in the region.

Of buyers at the spring sale, two came back to buy this fall, Graham said of her sale in the eastern Ozarks.

Remaining sale places, dates and coordinators are:

-Nov. 18, Joplin Regional Stockyards, Carthage, 7 p.m.; Eldon Cole, Mount Vernon, 417-466-3102.

-Nov. 18, Kirksville Livestock, 6 p.m.; Zac Erwin, Kirksville, 660-665-9866.

-Nov. 26, Kingsville Livestock Auction, 11 a.m.; David Hoffman, Harrisonville, 816-380-8460.

-Dec. 3, Fruitland Livestock Sales, 1 p.m.; Erin Larimore, Jackson, 573-243-3581.

-Dec. 10, F & T Livestock Market, Palmyra, 12:30 p.m.; Daniel Mallory, New London, 573-985-3911.

Earlier, Eldon Cole, manager of the Carthage sale, said, “It could be a buyers’ market.”

Cole has 400 heifers consigned. However, some may be culled that don’t meet standards or rejected on arrival. All heifers at the sales are checked by graders from the Missouri Department of Agriculture. Those with blemishes or that don’t meet condition scores are not eligible for sale.

The Show-Me-Select heifers are checked twice by veterinarians and sold guaranteed pregnant.

The program adds more than genetics, but includes development protocols.

Checking reproductive tract scores improves pregnancy rates. Pelvic measurements add calving ease. Fewer death losses at calving was one of the first values learned by producers and buyers. Calving ease brings buyers back for more.

Over time, more heifers are bred by fixed-time artificial insemination (FTAI). That cuts AI labor and gives uniform calf crops. That shortens calving seasons.

While beef prices dropped, the value of bred heifers remains high as results improve. MU specialists remind bidders that genetics can add to the time a cow stays in the herd. That long-term investment cuts need for replacements. Purchased genetics show up in the next calf crop.

FTAI was developed at the MU Thompson Farm, Spickard, by Patterson and graduate students in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

SMS details are on the web at

Producers enroll with their MU Extension regional livestock specialist. SMS is more than sales, it upgrades making quality beef.