Replacements Get Cheaper

Spring Bred Heifer Sales Follow Industry Downtrend

Victoria G Myers
By  Victoria G. Myers , Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
Replacement heifers are still selling, but prices for spring offerings in many areas are down compared to those in 2015. (DTN/Progressive Farmer photo by Victoria G. Myers)

Missouri's annual Show-Me-Select (SMS) bred heifer sales have historically provided a candid snapshot of prices for high quality beef replacements. This spring the program held four sales, beginning April 15, with the last one reported June 4. Price movement, when compared to 2015, continued to show a downturn. Artificially inseminated heifers again brought premiums over those that conceived using natural service.

The first sale, held at Farmington Livestock Auction, brought 168 head to market, and ended with average prices on all heifers at $2,070, and the max at $2,500. This was the first year for the sale at Farmington, so there was no year-earlier comparison.

The second spring sale, held May 7 at Fruitland Livestock Sales, brought 121 head to market, compared to 213 in 2015. Average price this year was $2,427, max was $3,500. Last year the average was $2,743 and the max was $3,900.

The third sale, held May 20 at Joplin Regional Stockyards in Carthage, brought 291 head to market, a slight increase over the 283 head sold in 2015. Average price this year was $2,236, max was $3,200. In 2015 average price was $2,861, max was $3,600.

The June 4 sale continued to show bred heifer prices are pulling in. This sale, held at F & T Livestock Market, Palmyra, brought 146 head to market, compared to 103 in 2015. Average sale price was $1,977 per head, with a max of $2,300. Last year the average price was $2,857, with a max of $3,050.

Fall SMS sales will begin in October, and Dave Patterson, University of Missouri Extension beef specialist, said traditionally more heifers are sold at this time as buyers shop for replacements to go in spring calving herds. It's a trend the specialist added he sees changing.

"Fall calving is gaining in north Missouri," he said, explaining it is already common in the southern part of the state where longer grazing seasons and mild winters have made it more feasible for producers.

The Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program's sale eligibility requirements are detailed and include pelvic measurements, parasite control, minimum weights and body condition scores, heifer inspection, BVD-PI tests, a pregnancy guarantee at time of sale and use of known sires with complete EPD information. All the details, along with contact information for program coordinators are available at:…


Victoria Myers