COLUMBIA, Mo. – Show-Me-Select replacement heifer sales offer cow-herd profits for both sellers and buyers.
For sellers, sales reward a year of care given heifers raised and bred under University of Missouri Extension plans.
For buyers, replacements build herd genetics and cut losses often occurring in homegrown heifers. Rewards come in long-term herd gains.
Six fall sales of spring-calving heifers are coming up, says David Patterson, MU beef reproduction specialist.
The sales and the often high-price heifers gain most attention. “The big profit potential remains in cow herds of both sellers and buyers,” Patterson says.
Buyers get data as well as heifers that are less likely to fail. Breeding first-calf heifers has been risky. But MU protocols call for pre-breeding exams that improve breeding and cut calving loss.
“Repeat buyers show us the real value of Show-Me-Select,” Patterson says. “They learn the gains from fewer losses of heifers and calves at birth. Repeat buyers learn to bid more.”
Big gains come from improved genetics brought into a herd. A catalog, printed on sale day, tells expected calving dates. Also, it shows EPDs (expected progeny differences) and genetics.
Over time, cow herds gain in stacked genetics. Show-Me-Select heifers out of SMS mothers bred to proven AI sires gain most. These are called “Tier Two.”
Heifers bred with fixed-time artificial insemination (FTAI) offer more data. Breeding all heifers in one morning gives more uniform ages in calves. Increasingly, genomic data is available in participating herds. More herd owners now know DNA of all the females.
Also, FTAI heifers are grouped at calving time. That cuts labor in checking herds in calving season.
“Buyers like time saved at calving,” Patterson says.
Uniform lots of steer calves are worth more to feeder buyers. Also, the heifers add value in the retaining home herd.
In over 20 years, both fall and spring sales proved the value.
The SMS protocols are based on breeding research at the MU Thompson Farm, Spickard. New research, yearly, improves methods used.
Veterinarians across the state promote the SMS program. It cuts late-night calls to assist at calving.
With pre-breeding exams, heifers that cannot pass a calf through a small pelvic opening are culled. For herd owners, those unfit heifers are worth more as stocker calves than future cows.
Pregnancy checks by vets pinpoint calving times more accurately. That helps herd owners.
In SMS sales, all heifers are sold guaranteed pregnant.
Sale dates, times, locations and area extension field specialists:
- Nov. 22, 6:30 p.m., Kirksville Livestock Auction; Zac Erwin, Kirksville.
- Nov. 30, 11:30 a.m., Kingsville Livestock Auction; David Hoffman, Harrisonville.
- Dec. 7, 11 a.m., SEMO Livestock Sales, Fruitland; Erin Larimore, Jackson.
- Dec. 13, 7 p.m., Farmington Livestock Auction; Kendra Graham, Farmington.
- Dec. 14, 12:30 p.m., F&T Livestock Market, Palmyra; Daniel Mallory, New London.
Only heifers wearing black-and-yellow ear tags are Show-Me-Select. Tags carry the SMS trademark.