Show-Me-Select heifer sales set records

Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Bart Renkoski, a 67-year-old farmer who lives about 8 miles west of Purdy, stands near his cattle. He has about 100 cows and 50 calves. Jason Johnston/

Downturn in feeder cattle futures did not affect state sales

Show-Me-Select heifer sales set records over the last two months because Missouri farmers had more money toward expanding their herds.

On Nov. 21, the Joplin sale sold 521 heifers that totaled $1,505,150 and averaged $2,889. Eldon Cole, University of Missouri Extension regional livestock specialist for the Southwest Region, which includes Barry and Lawrence counties, said he was shocked by those prices.

"Some people are saying 2015 is going to be even better for the beef farmer than 2014," Cole said.

Bart Renkoski, who has a cattle farm about 8 miles west of Purdy, sold eight Angus-Gelbvieh heifers at the Joplin sale for the day's second highest price of $3,219.

"The numbers are down out in the country, and the prices are up," said Renkoski, who has about 100 cows and 50 calves. "They think maybe it's a good time to get in. With the Show-Me sale, we try to take out as much risk as we can."

On Dec. 6, the Fruitland Livestock Auction in Jackson sold 168 heifers and averaged $3,033. On Dec. 13, the Palmyra sale sold 286 heifers and averaged $3,208. On Dec. 20, the Green City sale sold 151 heifers and averaged $2,883. On Nov. 29, the Kingsville sale sold 298 heifers and averaged $2,769.

The drivers for each sale are supply and the sale's location, Cole said. Even though the feeder cattle future prices decreased between $6 to $8 in early-to-mid December, the Show-Me-Select heifers had a record sale in Palmyra with some cattle prices breaking $4,000.

"It's hard to equate the feeder cattle market on a given day to the sale that was going to be held," he said.

There is no evidence that the Show-Me-Select sales are going to be affected by this little downturn in the feeder market, Cole said.

Each heifer needs to be owned and produced in Missouri and meet certain health requirements, he said. At the sale, the heifer must weigh at least 800 pounds and maintain the required body condition score -- the sale does not want anything more than an eight.

"[Heifers] need to be in good thrifty condition but not obese," he said. "They need to be bred to calving ease bulls. They need to have a pelvic measurement of 150 square centimeters when they are examined at about 14--15 months of age. They must also be pregnancy checked before they are 90 days along into gestation."

Cole said Barry County is in the top five for raising cattle in the state, and Lawrence County is No. 1.

For more information about the Show-Me-Select sales, people may contact Cole at or 417-466-3102.

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