Linda Geist

PALMYRA, Mo. – Twenty-nine buyers bought more than $305,000 worth of bred heifers in less than 60 minutes at the June 5 Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program sale at F&T Livestock Auction in Palmyra.

University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist Daniel Mallory said 165 heifers averaged $1,851.

The 15 producers take part in MU Extension’s educational heifer management program. Heifers are bred to sires with proven calving ease and growth genetics. The top-selling lot, consigned by Galaxy Beef, of Macon, brought $2,600.

Twelve head from Galaxy Beef earned the highest consignor average of $2,168. Other high averaging consignors: BrickHouse Farms, of Tina, Mo., $2,125 on six head; MU Greenley Research Center, Novelty, $2,109 on 11 head; and Prairie View Farms, Monroe City, $2,059 on 11 head.

Mallory said good weather held up some buyers who were working in the field, but heifers still sold well and six new consignors boosted sales.

Calving surveys of buyers provide consignors with important information to guide improvements in future years, Mallory said.

The Show-Me-Select heifer development program takes nearly a year to complete. Heifers usually receive exams four to eight weeks before breeding. These exams include pelvic measurement, reproductive tract score and weight record. Heifers may be bred artificially or by natural service. Service sires must meet specific calving-ease EPD (expected progeny difference) requirements based on breed. This year, 108 head, or 65%, of the heifers in the sale were synchronized and bred by artificial insemination. In this sale, the choice to use AI showed a $62 price advantage over those bred naturally.

All heifers must be pregnancy tested within 90 days of breeding by a veterinarian to determine expected calving date. “The use of ultrasound has helped many of the veterinarians improve their accuracies on calving dates,” Mallory said.

Heifers undergo an extensive health program during the development period. They receive vaccinations at weaning, pre-breeding and pregnancy examination and are treated several times for parasites. MU Extension livestock specialists and Missouri Department of Agriculture graders also screen for blemishes, condition, muscling and structural soundness.

This is the 25th year for the Show-Me-Select heifer sale in Palmyra. More than 50,000 heifers have been through the program and 7,358 head have been sold.

For more information, contact your local MU Extension livestock specialist or visit