The sale of fall-calving, Show-Me-Select beef heifers will begin at 7 p.m. on May 15 at Joplin Regional Stockyards near Carthage, Mo.
The offering consists of 300, mostly commercial heifers that begin calving in mid-August and run until late November. Most of the heifers calve at around 24-months. A few will calve at 30 months of age.
The heifers come from 20 different herds and have been developed following the strict protocol recommended by University of Missouri Extension faculty in cooperation with Missouri "Show-Me-Select" Replacement Heifers, Inc. The objective of the program is to improve on-farm heifer development, enhance marketing opportunities by adding value to Missouri raised heifers and provide a reliable source of quality replacement females.
"We're in an expansion mode now with cow herds and buying bred females is the quickest way to add numbers. A lot of guesswork is removed from heifers coming out of the Show-Me-Select program. They have been given an extensive series of immunizations, plus tested for BVD-PI and found to be negative. They have met minimum requirements for pelvic size and are bred to bulls meeting calving ease guidelines for their respective breeds," said Eldon Cole, livestock specialist, University of Missouri Extension.
The above steps are designed to have heifers calve regularly and stay in the herd longer than heifers not on the same protocol. Projected calving dates are given on each heifer based on a veterinarian's call early in pregnancy. Most veterinarians working with this sale use ultrasound for estimating calving dates. A few heifers in this sale have their pregnancies fetal-sexed.
In spite of all the technology used in bringing this offering together, buyers must realize these are still heifers and sometimes things go wrong. The SMS seller's guarantee is the heifers will be bred and shall remain bred for 30 days from sale date. If a veterinarian's exam proves otherwise, the seller will replace the heifer or make a financial settlement with the buyer.
"Based on buyers' surveys taken after the first calving season they are were pleased with the performance of the heifers. Assistance with calving is minimal, averaging fewer than 10 percent assists. The assist rate on fall-calving heifers is even under 5 percent," said Cole.
The first SMS sale was held at Joplin Yards in 1997. The May 15th sale will be the 33rd sale. On-line bidding may be arranged through DVAuction. Catalogs are available on request by calling 417-466-3102 or at www.swmobcia.com
Source: University of Missouri Extension