Six sales of Show-Me-Select heifers from spring-calving herds are set for this fall with the sales extending a Missouri benefit for beef farmers.
The fall auctions offer bred heifers with known development and genetics. They come from farms in the University of Missouri Extension heifer program. Six sales run from November 15 to December 15. Next spring sales will offer fall-calving heifers.
SMS heifer protocols use 22 years of research, says David Patterson, MU beef reproduction specialist. The program continues to improve with new findings. Sales often make news when heifers set record prices. “Prices are bid up by satisfied buyers returning for more,” Patterson says. “They learned the value of proven heifers.”
“Show-Me-Select sales are educational events,” the MU specialist says. “Buyers learn data that improve their herds.” The advantages are many. First-calf heifers are difficult to manage and suffer high death loss at calving. Pre-breeding exams help farmers cull heifers that can’t produce a live calf. With better genetics, heifers improve herds. They replace cows of lower value.
While sales make big news, the real value grows in participating farm herds. Farmers enrolled benefit big; but, buyers gain as well. When buying in replacements, farmers need not do detailed development work themselves. Only heifers certified by local MU Extension livestock specialists qualify for sales. Show-Me-Select heifers carry a black-and-gold logo ear tag. MU specialists manage sales which are run by SMS producers. Fall sales offer bred replacements that will calve next spring. Spring sales sell from a growing number of fall-calving cow herds in Missouri.
Each sale offers a catalog with data on each heifer. That adds value.
Producers guarantee their heifers to be bred. Consignments are pregnancy checked twice by veterinarians. All heifers are checked by graders from the Missouri Department of Agriculture. Any with faults are sent home.
Sale dates, times, locations and area extension specialists are:
· Nov. 15, 7 p.m., Joplin Reginal Stockyards, Carthage; Eldon Cole, Mount Vernon
· Nov. 22, 6:30 p.m., Kirksville (Mo.) Livestock Auction; Zac Erwin. Kirksville
· Nov. 30, 11:30 a.m., Kingsville (Mo.) Livestock Auction; David Hoffman, Harrisonville
· Dec. 7, 11 a.m., SEMO Livestock Sales, Fruitland; Erin Larimore, Jackson
· Dec. 13, 7 p.m., Farmington (Mo.) Livestock Auction; Kendra Graham, Farmington
· Dec. 14, 12:30 p.m., F&T Livestock Market, Palmyra; Daniel Mallory, New London
After each sale MU Extension specialists survey buyers to check satisfaction. Buyers like known expected calving dates. With ultrasound, veterinarians see stage of calf development at pregnancy checks.
Daniel Mallory with the Palmyra sale learned projected calving dates were 98% accurate last year.
In southwest Missouri, Eldon Cole, sale manager at the Joplin Regional Sale, found buyers liking calving ease. His returns, so far, show no calving help needed. All calves survived.
Specialists find the calving-ease trait often brings early delivery, ahead of the predicted date. At sales, they urge buyers to start watching heifers early.