California heifer prices surge

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Despite current, tough economic conditions for California dairies, springer heifer prices made a dramatic upturn in the past month, increasing from a market high of $1,575 last month to $1,825 this month for top-quality springing heifers. 

Chuck Cozzi, co-owner of Turlock Livestock Auction Yard, Turlock, Calif., says stronger milk prices have increased recent heifer demand. “Those who still are in the dairy business see the prospect of a larger milk check, and they want more milk in the tank,” says Cozzi. The same may be true in Texas, which also experienced a healthy boost in both first- and second-quality springer prices in the past month.  Springer prices remained steady in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, as did heifer calf prices nationwide.

 
Springing heifers
Heifer calves
 Location (sale date)
Supreme/top grade
Approved/medium grade
90-120 pounds
Turlock, Calif. (11/2/12)
$1,500-$1,825
$1,100-$1,475
NR
Stratford, Wis. (10/30/12)
$1,300-$1,575
$800-$1,275
$35-$165
Sulphur Springs, Texas (10/18/12)
$1,200-$1,525
$900-$1,200
$40-$210
New Holland, Pa. (10/31/12)
$1,425-$1,575
$1,300-$1,425
$90-$120


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