Adding quality heifers to a cattle operation can improve Missouri's beef industry according to a University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist.
One livestock management tool farmers are using to incorporate proven heifers is the Missouri Show-Me-Select (SMS) Beef Heifer Development Program. The program began in 1997 as a tool to improve the on-farm heifer development practices around the state. The program was the idea of Dr. Dave Patterson, University of Missouri Extension beef reproduction specialist.
According to Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension, Patterson had developed a similar effort in Kentucky.
"He saw the potential for improving Missouri's beef industry. Missouri has the reputation of being a seedstock state and the tested bull program has been highly successful since the 1960's," said Cole.
Livestock producers will have an opportunity to use this livestock management tool during the next SMS sale in southwest Missouri. The event will be at 7 p.m., May 17 at Joplin Regional Stockyards in Carthage. The sale already has 350 head consigned that will calve from early August through November. Over half of these heifers carry calves out of artificial insemination or AI service.
Heifers will be screened the day prior to the sale by graders from the Missouri Department of Agriculture and USDA. Heifers weighing less than 800 pounds, those with small frames, light muscling and poor temperaments will be removed from the sale.