Heifer buyers at Kirksville SMS sale get free trucking for volume buys

  • Published: Monday, Nov. 11, 2019

KIRKSVILLE, Mo. – Beef herd replacements bought at the Show-Me-Select heifer sale, Nov. 22, at Kirksville, may be trucked to new homes for free.

“Free trucking is a first this year,” says sale manager Zac Erwin. Herd owners selling in the sale give the perk to attract bidders.

Benefits go to those buying 10 or more heifers. Heifers will be hauled free up to 100 miles. An extra charge takes heifers farther. “Within the circle there’s no truck charge,” says Erwin, a University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist in Kirksville.

The sale is 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, at Kirksville Livestock LLC, 24295 Benton Road.

Erwin says sale theme is “Ready for the future?” Consumer demand for quality beef still grows. “But quality bred heifers may be harder to find,” he adds. “Owners who culled cows in low-profit years will restock as profits return to cow-calf herds.”

Heifers consigned for sale at Kirksville are down to 105 head this year, Erwin says. “What lacks in quantity we make up for in quality.”

SMS heifers come from herds in north-central and northeastern Missouri. All the owners enroll in the MU Show-Me-Select heifer development program. MU protocols add value for sellers and buyers.

Advance signup shows mostly Angus with a few Hereford crosses. Heifers are black or black whiteface bred to proven Angus bulls. Many are bred AI, which gives access to top sires in a breed.

Most heifers come from herds with years of performance testing, Erwin says.

The Show-Me-Select program has grown over 20 years in Missouri. No other state matches Missouri with a similar program, Erwin says. Buyers come from nearby states.

In the program, local veterinarians and MU Extension specialists help farmers. The program produces bred heifers that are fertile, productive and can stay in herds for years.

With more cows with longevity, herd owners gain extra heifers to sell. Spring and fall SMS sales make market outlets.

A popular trait for SMS heifers is calving ease. Management and genetics taught by MU give those results.

On sale day, Missouri Department of Agriculture graders check all heifers. Any with blemishes or lacking body condition are sent home. Most heifers not conforming are culled well before sale day.

Preliminary catalogs for sales are found on the internet. Visit agebb.missouri.edu/select.

There are five other sales this fall:

Nov. 15, 7 p.m., Joplin Regional Stockyards, Carthage.

Nov. 30, 11 a.m., Kingsville Livestock Auction.

Dec. 7, 11 a.m., SEMO Livestock Sales, Fruitland.

Dec. 13, 7 p.m., Farmington Livestock Auction.

Dec. 14, 12:30 p.m., F&T Livestock Market, Palmyra.

Beef farmers are urged to attend any auction.

Sales become extension teaching meetings where farmers learn from one another. Sale-barn pens are open for viewing ahead of sale time. Many consignors give handouts at their pens. Sale catalogs tell details on every heifer.

Catalogs are unusual for commercial herd sales. They provide data.

Only heifers wearing black-and-yellow ear tags are Show-Me-Select. Tags carry trademark SMS logo.

Heifer protocols are based on research at the MU Thompson Farm, Spickard. It is part of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, Columbia.

Writer: Duane Dailey

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