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University of Missouri Extension
Published: Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013
Judy Burton, 573-289-1979Gentrie Shafer, 660-265-4541
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Producers added a fifth sale to the fall lineup of Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifers, says Judy Burton, executive secretary of the farmer organization.
They set the sale for Dec. 21 at Green City (Mo.) Livestock Marketing. Some 225 to 250 spring-calving heifers are expected, said Gentrie Shafer, University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist, Milan, Mo.
The sale returns an auction for quality SMS heifers to the state’s north central region, Shafer said. The sale opens an outlet for Missouri producers. Out-of-state buyers are welcomed.
Four other sales supply quality female replacements. They are in Carthage, Kingsville, Fruitland and Palmyra, Mo.
Accepted heifers meet genetic standards and qualifications of the Missouri Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifers Inc., a nonprofit group. Farmer members set rules and organize sales.
Heifers come from a yearlong educational program of MU Extension.
The sales grew out of a program to improve genetics in Missouri beef cow herds. The original intent was to boost calving-ease genetics and reduce death losses of newborn calves and first-calf heifers.
Other genetic traits, such as marbling and weight gain, were added to the program as farmers learned to improve multiple traits. Heifers are bred to high-accuracy proven sires.
Over time, higher standards created Tier Two heifers. Sale prices on Tier Two, AI-bred heifers bring average premiums of $357. That’s compared to average prices of bull-bred heifers.
Increasingly heifers are bred by fixed-time artificial insemination. Predicted calving dates are shown in catalogs printed the day of sales. That predicted date, plus calving ease, cuts labor at calving time.
“The sales attract many repeat buyers, who pay more,” says David Patterson, MU Extension beef reproduction specialist. He brought the genetic and management program to Missouri.
The date, time, location and sale coordinators are:
Graders from the Missouri Department of Agriculture inspect heifers on arrival at the sales. Any not meeting standards are sent home. Veterinarians pregnancy check heifers twice, the last within 30 days of sale. Heifers sell with a guarantee.
Local veterinarians and the MU College of Veterinary Medicine cooperate in the program.
The science of heifer breeding came out of research at the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.
The sales added more than $65 million to the Missouri economy.
However, greatest value comes from on-farm performance of enrolled herds, Patterson says.
Herd owners can enroll with livestock specialists through MU Extension centers.
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