Missouri Dairy Business UpdateCommercial Agriculture
Volume 3, Number 2

February 2003

Dairy Heifer Supply & Price Update

According to the January 1, 2003 USDA inventories, there are almost 45 dairy replacement heifers over 500 pounds available for every 100 cows in the nations dairy herd. That is a new historical high in recent history.

According to the latest USDA Livestock, Dairy & Poultry Outlook:
"In January 2003, replacement cow prices were back to levels similar to those of 1999 or 2000. Replacement prices may ease further in coming months. The larger number of heifers may be joined by larger supplies of older replacements, if the rate of dairy farm exits creeps up as expected. In addition, the number of new facilities coming into production should be slowing. However, prices are not likely to decline to the levels of most of the 1990s, forestalled by the long-run trend increase in the number of heifers needed under current management practices."

Dairy Heifer Prices

The two dairy auction market reports in Missouri that routinely list dairy heifer price information, (Norwood & Lebanon), can be found at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/lsg/mncs/ls_jc.htm

James Coomer, MU Commercial Agriculture Dairy Nutritionist, has put together an historical price excel spreadsheet of the Mammouth Cave Dairy Sale, ( Smith Grove, KY), dairy heifer prices by weight range. To download it, click on HEIFER PRICE SPREADSHEET.

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