Heifer owners plan Show-Me-Select sale
Cow-calf producers in northwest Missouri can join in selling Show-Me-Select heifers this fall if they sign up this winter.
Three regional meetings are set for Jan. 26 to 27, says David Patterson, University of Missouri Extension beef specialist. "A meeting will be held in each area of three regional livestock specialists."
Protocols for producing calving-ease heifers with high-quality genetics will be explained at each meeting. Heifer calves that were weaned in the fall of 2011 are eligible for enrollment for fall 2012 sales.
At noon, Jan. 26, Jim Humphrey plans a meeting at the Clasbey Center on North Banyon Street, Savannah, Mo. A beef lunch will be served. RSVP to the Andrew County MU Extension Center at 816-324-3147.
On Jan. 26 at 7 p.m., Amie Schleicher, Rockport, Mo., will be hostess in Maryville, Mo., at the Nodaway County Administration Center first-floor meeting room. Call Schleicher at 660-744-6231.
On Jan. 27 at 10:30 a.m., Shawn Deering will host a meeting at the Daviess County Library, 306 W. Grand, Gallatin, Mo. Call Deering at 660-726-5610 in Albany, Mo.
In four sales last fall, Show-Me-Select Heifer participants set record-breaking prices. Several lots sold for more than $2,000 per head.
"Short supply and high demand bodes well for beef prices the next few years," said Scott Brown, MU Extension beef economist. "The cow herd is shrinking and there will be need for replacement heifers." He will give the outlook at the meetings.
"Producers are learning they must pay for quality," Brown added. "Prices at the sales last fall were phenomenal, hitting over $2,000. Last October, bred heifers at Oklahoma City averaged just over $800."
The demand grows for quality, not commodity beef, he added.
Sales are a small, highly visible part of the Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program, Patterson said. Most heifers from the yearlong educational program go back into the home farm herds. However, heifers are highly sought-after by repeat buyers, Patterson said.
The use of calving-ease sires and pre-breeding exams lower death losses at calving. With timed artificial insemination, which is gaining popularity, calf crops can be grouped. That increases calf value with uniformity in size and quality.
Sales last fall were held at Joplin, Kingsville, Fruitland and Palmyra. The fall sales sold 824 heifers for a total return of $1,411,100.
Producers in northwest Missouri have asked for a sale in their area.
"The main value of the program remains with heifers kept in home herds," Patterson said. "Producers learn that cows from superior heifers stay in the herd longer, producing more calves. That adds value by cutting replacement costs."
The program includes total management of health and nutrition in addition to genetics.
Local veterinarians work with producers in herd health, pre-breeding and pregnancy exams. All heifers in the sales are guaranteed to be pregnant. On arrival at the sales, heifers are screened by graders from the Missouri Department of Agriculture to assure quality compliance.
The meetings will explain requirements for the program.
"Farmers enrolled see major gains in not only calf quality, but long-term, the cow quality," Patterson said.
Show-Me-Select heifers carry a black-and-gold ear tag with the trademark logo.