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Beef Roundtable: Should you keep or sell your replacement heifer prospects?

Beef Roundtable: Should you keep or sell your replacement heifer prospects?

How many replacement heifers should you keep?

The market crash that started in late summer of 2015 and continued through the end of the year caused many cow-calf producers to mash a thumb on the pause button of herd rebuilding. As a result, heifers that may have been a copper-riveted cinch to become replacements looked a little less appealing in light of falling cattle prices. While it appears the worst of the market gyrations are behind us and perhaps the market will find some equilibrium, the decision of how many potential replacement prospects to keep still remains.

That’s because, in light of the unprecedented high prices for feeder calves, replacement breeding stock and cull cows, it’s easy to be lulled into bidding past and present profits back into replacements if you’re not vigilant. As the national cowherd continues to grow, producers are asking what replacement heifers are worth in light of new market realities and how many to keep?

This month, the Beef Roundtable takes a look at that decision with help from Art Bartenslager, owner-operator of Bfive Livestock in Greenbrier County, W.Va. and Scott Lake, Extension beef specialist at the University of Wyoming.

The Beef Roundtable is a joint project with BEEF and Purdue University. It’s a monthly 15-minute video podcast that features some of the top leaders in the beef industry co-hosted by Ron Lemenager, Extension beef specialist at Purdue University and BEEF Senior Editor Burt Rutherford.

In addition to being available on, the sessions can be viewed at, on the Beef Roundtable YouTube channel and iTunes.

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