Friday, February 07, 2014

Start Process of Making More on Heifer Sales by Attending Show-Me-Select Heifer Meeting Feb. 19 in Mt. Vernon

Contact: Eldon Cole, livestock specialist
Headquartered in Lawrence County
Tel: (417) 466-3102

MT. VERNON, Mo. -- Persons interested in learning about the Missouri Show-Me-Select Heifer Development Program are invited to a meeting at 7 p.m. on Feb. 19 in the University of Missouri Extension Center located in the basement of the Lawrence County Courthouse, Mt. Vernon, Mo.

“The meeting is important for those planning to consign bred heifers to the May 16 sale at Joplin Regional Stockyards.  Advertising plans will be discussed and the drawing for sale order rotation will be made,” said Eldon Cole, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

The Show-Me-Select (SMS) program in southwest Missouri is in its 18th year.  SMS was started to introduce technology to cattlemen regarding heifer replacement development and marketing.

There are several examples of technology being introduced in the current SMS program. For example, participants will be exposed to workable heat synchronization protocols capable of getting 60 percent or more of the heifers bred on the same day.

They will also learn about identifying calving ease bulls by the use of expected progeny difference (EPD) bulls with high accuracy values. Other technology examples include: use of ultrasound to estimate calving date within about 14 days; pelvic measuring to identify heifers more likely to experience calving difficulty; and reproductive tract scoring 4 to 6 weeks ahead of the breeding season which picks up heifers with infantile tracts that are unlikely to breed.

Cole says a few users have their veterinarians sex the developing fetus so they can plan their marketing or retention selections.  A Tier Two program is now available where heifers being developed must meet a few important EPD accuracies such as calving ease direct and maternal) weaning and carcass weight and marbling.

“Those who sell SMS heifers are finding a ready market for the heifers that excel, based on the sale of 1,707 heifers at seven sales in 2013,” said Cole.

During 2013, the category and price averages were:  Tier Two AI’d heifers averaged $2259, while Tier Two natural service brought $1864; Tier I (AI) $2030, Tier I (NS) $1850; all AI breds $2053, all NS breds $1851.

“The overall average on 1,707 heifers was $1,977.  This shows the added-value benefits of the Show-Me-Select program,” said Cole.

According to Cole, SMS developed heifers have been set up to perform as well as possible with vaccinations, parasite treatments and testing.

“A few items are not feasible to monitor during the program. For example, mothering ability at calving time, udder conformation, milking ability and longevity are not monitored. Temperament is monitored at each working right up to sale time with problem heifers removed by subjective evaluation,” said Cole.

You may learn more about the SMS program online at

For more information, contact any of the MU Extension livestock specialists in southwest Missouri: Eldon Cole in Mt. Vernon, (417) 466-3102, Andy McCorkill in Dallas County at (417) 345-7551, Dr. Patrick Davis in Cedar County at (417) 276-3313 or Logan Wallace in Howell County at (417) 256-2391.


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