First Show-Me-Select fall sale better than farmers thought with $1,672 average

Cattle in ring at sale

Show-Me-Select replacement heifers sold for $1,672 average on 190 head. The sale at Joplin Regional Stockyards was the first of six sales across Missouri this fall.

This year’s price topped a $1,586 average from one year ago, says Eldon Cole. The University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist, Mount Vernon, manages the sale.

The heifers come from Missouri producers enrolled in the MU Extension heifer program. Farmers learn to improve quality and genetics on calves. Only Missouri producers consign, but out-of-state buyers are welcome.

At the Nov. 15 sale, 78 of 190 head sold went across state lines. The top sale price of the night was $2,100 each on four Red Angus-Simmental cross heifers. They came from Sam Schaumann, Billings, going to Sammy Helm, Pineville. He took home eight heifers. The second high single lot price of $1,900 went to John Wheeler, Marionville. They went to Tom Jeffries, Carthage. Wheeler, a consignor since the beginning of Show-Me-Select, sold all his black baldies for an average of $1,746.

Jared Decker, MU beef geneticist, Columbia, reported from the sale that prices were stronger than consignors expected.

The sale showed a shifting in consignments. There were more red cattle offered. And the crossbreds did well. To Decker, this shows a growing interest in the genetic value of heterosis of crossbreeding.

Another shift was more buyers from out of state. The big out-of-state buyer, Martin Litterall of Hindsville, Ark., took home 27 red heifers from four consignors for an average of $1,653. In all, Arkansas buyers took home 44 head. Two Kansas buyers took home 18 head. One Oklahoma buyer got six head.

A growing trend of favoring AI-bred heifers continues. The AI-bred heifers averaged $1,704, compared to $1,630 for the bull-bred. This $74 spread is less than usual, Cole noted. Both Cole and Decker said bidding stayed stable, mostly near the final $1,672 average price.

The next sale is Friday, Nov. 22, at Kirksville nearer to Iowa.

Remaining sales are Nov. 30, Kingsville; Dec. 7, Fruitland; Dec. 13, Farmington; and Dec. 14, Palmyra.

The average price of $1,642 should not have been a surprise to Eldon Cole. Over the past two decades, he developed a formula on the bred heifer prices. They go for twice the price of certain kinds of 550-pound steers. Those steers last week brought $832 per head. Multiplied by two, that gives $1,664—not far from heifers at an average of $1,672.