NEWS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI EXTENSION OFFICE
MT. VERNON, Mo. -- Drought during 2012 resulted in poor forage supplies and a big sell-off of beef cows during 2012 and 2013 according to Eldon Cole, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.
However, above normal rainfall in 2013 has provided lots of pasture and hay. According to Cole, this abundant forage blessing is best used on many farms through beef cows.
“The market forecast is optimistic for favorable returns in the next few years with a beef cow enterprise,” said Cole. “There is a strong demand this fall for bred females and the supply is scarce. Beef cow numbers are the lowest in the United States since the early 50’s.”
Cole says that as farmers search for good replacements they should check out the Missouri Show-Me-Select Heifer Development Program.
The program began in 1997 and has developed into a popular source for well-managed heifers that are raised in Missouri.
Most SMS heifers are adapted to fescue and they have been observed since weaning by the owner, University of Missouri Extension livestock specialists and a veterinarian. The final eyes cast on them before selling belong to Missouri Livestock Market News reporters and USDA livestock graders.
“As a result, Show-Me-Select heifers have cleared many hurdles to qualify for the gold and black Show-Me-Select ear tag placed in their ears,” said Cole.
Hurdles cleared by SMS heifers include the following:
· comprehensive immunization and parasite control program from weaning to sale date;
· many are artificially bred to high-accuracy, expected progeny difference bulls for a number of traits, especially calving ease;
· specific expected calving dates are provided which historically for the program are within 14 days of the actual date;
· minimum pelvic measurements;
· body condition scores, muscle and frame scores are acceptable;
· temperaments have been found acceptable as best they can be assessed;
· heifers with blemishes have been eliminated from the sales; and
· heifers sell with a 30-day guarantee to remain pregnant.
The SMS sale season kicks off at 7 p.m. on Nov. 15 at Joplin Regional Stockyards. For more details call 417-466-3102 or go on-line at www.swmobcia.com to view the catalog.
Other sales in the state are as follows: Nov. 30 at Kingsville, Dec. 7, Fruitland, Dec. 14, Palmyra and Dec. 21, Green City.
Information on these sales may be found at: http://agebb.missouri.edu/select/index.htm