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Heifers Hit Record Average Prices At Iowa Sales

Heifers Hit Record Average Prices At Iowa Sales
Iowa Cattlemen's Association's bull and heifer sale at Tama is tops for this season's sales.

At the final sale of the season for the Iowa Cattlemen's Association Bull Evaluation Program was held May 2 at Tama in east central Iowa. The average price of 76 bulls sold was $3,413. That was the highest average of the three sales ICA holds during the spring; and it was the second highest historically. The highest sale average of $3,420 in the 29-year-old program came at the 2012 Tama sale. That average was just slightly higher than this year's $3,412.

HOT SELLERS: Iowa Cattlemen's Association has held several bull and heifer sales this year. ICA's recent sale at Tama tops the record average sales for fifth year in a row, as cattlemen bid strong on breeding stock to rebuild beef herds.

The price of open heifers at the 2014 Tama sale was the highest average ever, and is part of a 5-year-run of records. The 70 heifers averaged $1,868, topping the previous record in 2013 of $1,639. The increasing average price in heifers indicates a strong interest by Iowa cattle producers to grow their herds. The program for ICA's performance evaluated heifers was established in 1999, and heifers are sold only during the Tama Livestock auction.

"There are several reasons why the ICA evaluation program creates successful sales," says Kellie Carolan, ICA's seedstock manager. "First, our consignors are putting good cattle in a program with 29 years of history. Second, the buyers are looking for the types of bulls and heifers that will help us grow the cow-calf segment, and the stock sold at the Tama sale will definitely improve the commercial herd."

Cattlemen are strong bidders as they rebuild breeding herds
The Tama sale included Simmental, Angus, Simmental Composite, Charolais, and Red Angus bulls which had been assessed through the bull evaluation program (BEP), and met the criteria established by ICA members on the Performance Evaluation Committee.

The top seller for the Tama sale-and also for 2014-was a Simmental bull, a son of 'Fitz Escalade,' which sold for $6,400. Lot 291 owned by Larry Hindman of Radcliffe was sold to Julian Canaday of Bloomfield, Nebraska. The top-selling Angus bull sold for $5,750. Lot 257 was consigned by Is and Kristin Noelck of Hampton. The son of 'Waa Upshot' was purchased by Tim Steffensmeier, Ft. Madison.


Of the Simmental Composites, Lot 307, a son of 'Lagrand Upward 1147' was the top-seller at $5,500. This bull from Nathan Kaehler of Eyota, MN, also went home with Steffensmeier of Ft. Madison. Of the Charolais bulls, Lot 276, owned by Larry Wakefield of New Richland, MN, was the top seller. He is the son of 'RC Distance 3154 Pld' and was purchased for $4,000 by Vick Bassett of Boone for his 2014 bull battery.

The top-selling Red Angus bull was consigned by Dan Wakefield of New Richland, MN. Lot 280, the son of 'LJC Mission Statement P27' will be a new herd sire at Darrell and Edwin Sents of Wellsburg. The bull sold for $3,100.

These bulls carried some of the various breed's best pedigrees
"These bulls represented the top cut of our Tama test bulls based on growth, carcass traits, yearling weights, disposition and scrotal circumference," says Carolan. The bulls carried some of the breed's best pedigrees for calving ease, performance and carcass merit and their test data showed it with 4.2 pounds per day of gain on-test." The following is a breakdown of the number of bulls by breed or type and the sale average for that category.

                                    # Head  Average $

Angus                           51                        $3,667

Simmental                     16                        $2,884

Sim Composite               5                       $2,800

Charolais                        2                       $3,300

Red Angus                      2                       $2,850

Total                            76                        $3,414

The top-selling heifer at the Tama sale was Lot 402. This Angus heifer was consigned by Mike Kaefring, Tipton, and sold for $3,300 to repeat buyer, Gary Kellogg of Colo. The top-selling Charolais heifers were the multiple Lots 447, 448, 449 and 500, which were owned by LeRoy Lines of Olathe, KS. The heifers sold for $3000 each to Gregg and Kathy Mobley of Albia.

Top-selling heifers at Tama sale went for $3,000 and up
To see the caliber of cattle sold at the Tama sale and the other two 2014 auctions, look at the catalogs and videos of these lots at, under the ICA Programs tab.

The ICA Bull Evaluation Program has been in place since 1985. The goal of the program is to provide bulls that meet the program's two basic objectives: 1) evaluate high-quality bulls in a common environment to benefit seedstock producers and; 2) identify and merchandise a select group of bulls, which excel in traits that have a high economic value. For more information about the ICA Bull Evaluation Program, contact Kellie Carolan at the ICA office at 515-296-2266.

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