Quality keeps getting better at the Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer sales, says Roger Eakins, University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist, Jackson, Mo.

Spring sales will be held May 5, 1 p.m., at the Fruitland (Mo.) Livestock Auction, and May 18, 7 p.m., at the Joplin Regional Stockyards, Carthage, Mo.

Eakins, who coordinates the Southeast Missouri sale at Fruitland, reports producers consigned 181 bred heifers. Of those, 114 are bred by artificial insemination to superior, proven sires. Of those, about 90 percent will be fetal sexed, a new high for that result of ultrasound pregnancy checks.

Buyers will not only have a projected birth dates, but will know whether the calf will be a heifer or a bull.

As in the past, all heifers to be sold will be pregnancy-checked twice and guaranteed to be pregnant.

“We have 158 black and 17 black white-face heifers with a couple reds and grays in the sale,” Eakins says. Another distinction is that 65 heifers are labeled Tier Two out of leading sires.

Tier Two heifers represent second-generation breeding to superior sires. In addition to being bred to proven sires, their maternal grandsire also has superior EPDs (expected progeny differences).

In recent sales, Tier Two heifers brought premium prices.

Eldon Cole, regional livestock specialist at Mount Vernon and coordinator of the Southwest Missouri sale, says consignments include 255 crossbred and purebred heifers. About 80 percent are black or black white-face heifers. The Joplin sale offers more colored cattle.

The sale will include 25 heifers from the University of Missouri Southwest Center herd.

All heifers are inspected on arrival at the sale for condition and confirmation by graders from the Missouri Department of Agriculture. Any heifers with blemishes will be sent home.

Catalogs with data on each lot will be available on the sale day.

Originally started as an effort to improve calving ease and cut death loss, the breeding program now offers much more.

Spring sales offer replacements for fall-calving herds.