Show-Me-Select fall-calving heifers sell for average of $1,231 at Carthage, Mo.
In a sale of Show-Me-Select fall-calving bred heifers, 209 head averaged $1,231 at Joplin Regional Stockyards May 15.
"We just didn't have enough bidders to bring the prices that producers were wanting," said Eldon Cole, University of Missouri Extension regional livestock specialist and auction sales manager. The heifers were grouped into 62 lots with one to six head of matched heifers.
Two weeks ago, a spring sale of 126 Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifers at Fruitland in southeast Missouri averaged $1,401.
Ladd Ranch of Sparta, Mo., took the top average among the 16 consignors with $1,303 on 12 lots. Now in its sixth year in the sale, the Ladd family usually enters black whiteface heifers with one-eighth Brahman in their backgrounds. This year they added 21 red heifers of Gelbvieh-Hereford cross. Ladd Ranch was the largest consignor in the sale.
Quinton Bauer, Verona, Mo., had the second-highest average with $1,287 on four lots of crossbred Angus heifers. Most were bred with fixed-timed artificial insemination to calve on Sept. 8.
Cupps Farms, Shell Knob, Mo., was third-highest, averaging $1,285 on four lots.
Kleiboeker Farms, Wentworth, Mo., took fourth, averaging $1,255 on four lots of mostly Angus heifers.
"We had a good sale. We've had worse," Cole said. "Our sellers were satisfied with the results, even though it was not what they were hoping. I don't know why there were not more bidders. There wasn't the excuse that they were making hay."
The sale followed days of rain and ended just before heavy rain drenched the region.
Seller Nolan Kleiboeker noted that he could use about three times the number of cattle to keep up with the grass growth this spring.
Sellers of the heifers are enrolled in a yearlong educational program from MU Extension. The program helps beef farmers raise replacement beef heifers through better breeding. The heifers have greater calving ease and fewer death losses. Most heifers in the program are retained in the home herds. Extra heifers are sold in the semiannual auctions organized by a farmer committee of consignors.
Getting first-calf heifers successfully introduced into the beef herd has been a longtime challenge for producers, said David Patterson, MU Extension beef specialist. The Show-Me-Select heifer development program started as a pilot program in the Joplin region, with the first sale in 1997.
Increasingly, producers use artificial insemination to take advantage of superior sires in the AI studs. Through synchronization, heifers are now bred by appointment all on one day. This increases uniformity and quality of the calf crop, Patterson said.
During the sale, Cole recognized John and Janet Massey, Purdy, Mo., for having consigned heifers in all 20 Show-Me-Select sales in southwest Missouri. They are the only consignors to do that.
The Masseys sold the first "Tier Two" heifers, which are offspring of previous Show-Me-Select heifers, sired by high-accuracy, proven AI sires and bred back to high-accuracy, proven AI sires.
There were 24 buyers among the 57 people who picked up bidder numbers before the sale. Four buyers bought over the Internet. The heifers can be seen online during the auction. Buyers must register to bid.
Internet bidding is gaining users, said Mark Harmon of Joplin Regional Stockyards.
All heifers are guaranteed bred for 30 days after the sale. All were pregnancy checked within 30 days of the auction.
Market graders from the Missouri Department of Agriculture inspect all consignments upon arrival for body condition and conformation requirements. Heifers not meeting the standards are sent home.
Beef producers who want to enroll heifers for the next the Show-Me-Select spring sale should enroll by August 1 through an MU Extension livestock specialist.
At the end of the auction, Cole reminded bidders to return the first Friday in November for the sale of Show-Me-Select heifers bred to calve next spring.
Helping Cole with the auction were MU Extension livestock specialists Dona Funk of Stockton and Bill Doig of West Plains.
For more information about the Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program, see http://agebb.missouri.edu/select/.