Springer heifer prices were steady to down throughout the country at the start of the New Year. A light market test due to the holidays may be one contributor to the tepid prices, along with uncertainty regarding feed and milk prices heading into 2013. The USDA predicts a shrinking dairy herd in 2013, with projected total U.S. cow numbers down by nearly 100,000 head compared to 2012. However, if cull cow prices remain strong, this contraction in herd size may not affect heifer demand and value significantly.

Top-end Holstein heifer calves gained value in all three monitored markets in January, but calf prices nationwide remain considerably lower than they were one year ago.


Springing heifers
Heifer calves
 Location (sale date)
Supreme/top grade
Approved/medium grade
90-120 pounds
Turlock, Calif. (1/4/13)
Stratford, Wis. (1/10/13)
Sulphur Springs, Texas (1/3/13)
New Holland, Pa. (1/9/13)