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MU Thompson Farm lets bid on river-bottom crop ground


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

Published: Monday, April 29, 2013

Story sources:

Jon Schreffler, 660-485-6576John Poehlmann, 573-882-4450

SPICKARD, Mo. – River-bottom cropland on the University of Missouri Thompson Farm has been leased for three years for $378.30 per acre, the highest of 11 sealed bids, says Jon Schreffler, farm manager.

The winning bid on the 590 acres was by William Corey Thompson, Stewartsville, Mo.

Rent will be paid in three equal payments annually. There will be an option to renew for another two years.

The income is divided 80 percent to the farm and 20 percent to the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station, Columbia.

The land along the Thompson River has been upgraded with improved drainage, farm lanes and grid soil sampling. The land was limed after grid soil sampling last fall.

“After recent heavy rains, standing water quickly cleared the land, compared to earlier years,” Schreffler said. “Cleaning the drainage ditches helped.”

Expense of improvement work is split 80-20 between Thompson Farm and the Experiment Station.

Fenimore Family Farms, Bethany, Mo., won the bid five years ago at $305.50 per acre. They had the second-highest bid this time. “They did a fine job of farming the land,” Schreffler adds.

Thompson Farm is in a network of MU research farms and forestlands across the state. Primary research at the Spickard farm is on the reproduction of beef cows and heifers.

“MU research farms must cover operating costs with farm income,” says John Poehlmann, who oversees the Experiment Station farms. “Thompson Farm has income from crops and a 230-cow beef herd. They have 80 replacement heifers.”

Herd income increased sharply with quality breeding and lower death loss. Steers from the herd are fed out in a feedlot in Garden City, Kan.

Thompson steers usually top the market and draw premium prices for USDA prime and choice grades.

Extra replacement heifers from the herd are sold in auctions of Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifers. They also draw premium prices.

Research resulted in AI protocols now used nationwide. They were perfected in the last 15 years by David Patterson, MU Extension beef specialist.

The farm also is used for teaching graduate students in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

Demonstrations and research talks will be given at an annual field day, Sept. 17, at the farm, which is west of Spickard, Mo., in northwestern Grundy County.

The two nearest research farms are Hundley-Whaley, Albany, Mo., to the west, and Greenley Research Center, Novelty, Mo., east of Kirksville.

For more information about the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station, go to