Missouri Dairy Business Update Commercial Agriculture
Volume 4, Number 3
March, 2004

Dairy Heifer Price Outlook

Higher milk prices and tighter heifer supplies likely mean higher replacement prices throughout 2004.

According to the USDA Dairy Outlook, "Significantly fewer heifers will enter the milking herd this year, even though the overall herd of replacement heifers on January 1 was only 2 percent below a year earlier. An unusually large share of the earlier year heifers were older animals, and the number expected to begin milking in 2004 was down 4 percent. No Canadian replacements will be available so long as the ban on importation of live animals continues. Although new regulations are in the comment process, it is uncertain when the current prohibition will end.

Check the Heifers web page on the Missouri Dairymen's Resource Guide for the latest heifer prices around the country.

For some historical perspective on dairy replacement costs, below is a graph of the USDA's recorded replacement prices in the US and Missouri since 1998.

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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