The average number of heifers per draft will be four head with a range from one to 10 head. All heifers have been BVD-PI ear notch tested and found negative, as well as, vaccinated for brucellosis.
History of success
In addition to the use of nutritional, reproductive, genetic and health practices to improve heifer development, the SMS program provided an added bonus to their livestock management plans in terms of a marketing component. About one-third of the heifers that go through the various practices from weaning to third-stage pregnancy are offered for sale, either privately or at auction.
The first SMS sale was held in November 1997. At this inaugural sale, 175 bred heifers sold for an average of $864 per head. Since then, 27 sales have been held. According to Cole, the average price at the November 2012 sale was $1,974 per head.
"Sales have become a profitable, added-value market for consignors," said Cole.
Cole visited the farm of Philip Brooks near Exeter. Brooks was an early buyer of SMS heifers starting back in 1999.
"We went to one pasture and found four of his older SMS purchases. They still look sound and Philip says they've calved on-schedule every year," Cole said. He adds that Brooks has seen the merits of this livestock management program and now is developing 10 heifers to be in the November 2014 sale.
Catalogs for the spring sale may be obtained from University of Missouri Extension offices or accessed online. Video of a portion of the heifers may be viewed closer to sale day at the Joplin Regional Stockyards website. Phone contacts maybe made at 417-466-3102.
Source: University of Missouri Extension