SE Missouri Spring Calving Sale Holds Record Price For One Week


   The 18th consecutive Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Sale for Southeast Missouri Spring Calving was held on December 6, 2014 at Fruitland Livestock Auction. While we were presented with wet conditions during heifer arrival on Friday afternoon, the general consensus was that the weather could be worse – as last year’s snow storm prohibited many consignors and buyers from making the trip to the sale barn. All heifers arriving on Friday passed inspection by the USDA Graders enrolling a total of 168 heifers in the sale. The Graders evaluate for frame, muscle, body condition, appearance of blemishes, and disposition. 
   Auctioneer Ken Carney called the first heifers through the ring at 1:10 p.m. after an introduction and welcome by Livestock Specialist, Roger Eakins. This sale marked Roger’s last year of coordinating the SMS sale as he moves into full retirement from Extension. Roger claims he will still take part in SMS and may even enroll heifers of his own in the years to come!
   Heifers sold as singles, pairs, triplets or quads, in 78 consignment lots which had been sorted by breed, color, size, calving date, and fetal sex when available. Enrollment included 104 black, 51 BWF, and 13 RWF, 18 Registered females with others eligible for registration, and 15 heifers qualifying for Tier II of the Show-Me-Select program meaning they were sired by bulls meeting minimum EPD accuracies set forth by the organization. This sale included 62 percent AI-bred females and 73 percent of heifers were fetal sexed. 

   The Southeast sale held the record-price for all of one week before it was topped by the Northeast sale held in Palmyra December 13. Overall average price for heifers was $3033 with premiums of over $100 for AI-bred heifers and nearly $400 for Tier II AI-bred heifers. McClure Farms of Perryville brought the top average consignment of $3375 on four Angus heifers. Seven out of twelve consignors averaged over $3000 which expresses the quality of heifers that were available at the sale. Crooks Farms of Leeton had the second high average ($3370) on twenty Simmental/Angus cross heifers. The maximum price received at this sale was $3600 and there were several consignments which sold at this price.
   A further breakdown of price was analyzed to determine if premiums were paid for heifers with known fetal sex. Heifers sold in lots carrying only female fetuses averaged $3147, male fetal-sexed lots averaged $3063, and lots selling a mix of female and male fetuses averaged $2970. Unsexed lots averaged $3068 and with several heifers averaging over $3300 that did not have fetal sex, this would have driven up the total average price. Therefore, I believe there is a definite advantage to selling heifers with known fetal sex and by selling them in lots of like-gender, especially all female fetal-sexed lots, premiums can be made.
   A big thank you goes to the consignors because without their participation this sale would not be possible. Also, thank you to sale manager, Darrell Aufdenberg, sorting and penning volunteers, Fruitland Livestock Auction, Coordinators – Kendra Graham and Roger Eakins, and last but not least, Buyers! 
   For more information on the sale or other averages, please contact Erin Larimore, 573-243-3581 or ∆
   ERIN LARIMORE: Livestock Specialist, University of Missouri
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