The Jersey breed recently released its annual sales summary for 2019, reporting that 2,409 Registered Jerseys sold at public auction for an average of $1,720.38 and a gross of $4.13 million.
Though premium prices were commanded for genomic super stars, value could be found in hard-working commercial cattle.
Ten of the 15 high prices for Registered Jerseys in 2019 were paid for heifers with crème de la crème genomic evaluations. Several new names graced this list, a testimony to the merit of herd genotyping and taking action to cash in on opportunity. A prime example is this year’s high seller and the breed’s new historical high selling heifer calf, Wetumpka Viceroy Java-P, who sold for $103,000 and paced the National Heifer Sale to its series high-average of $10,308.57. Five months later, her paternal sister, Legendairy Viceroy Best Wishes, became the breed’s historical high-selling bred heifer when she was struck off for $37,000 at the All American Jersey Sale.
|758||Cows, two years and over||$1,539.45||$1,166,900|
|26 calves under three months, sold with dam||$519.23||$13,500|
|352 3rd trimester bred heifers||$1,519.67||$534,525|
|277 2nd trimester bred heifers||$1,315.97||$364,525|
|193 1st trimester bred heifers||$1,372.98||$271,850|
|7||Embryos or flush packages||$1,300||$9,100|
|22||Choices of calves||$5,700||$125,400|
Show animals held their value in 2019 as well, with buyers paying a premium for animals that could help them rack up the hardware on the tanbark trail. Pedigrees backed by purple banner winners or animals with proven track records themselves were among the year’s highest sellers, including a future All American and a Reserve Junior All American.
As telling as anything, however, is a closer look at sale averages and the overall average, down more than $650 from 2018. Prices paid during 2019 were as low as they have been in two decades, even for Registered Jerseys, who hold their value in tough times. Supply outpaced demand as dairy producers sold a flux of heifers that were the result of sexed semen, reduced stock inventory to feed and dispersed their herds at record pace.
Though five sales posted averages over $2,700, most fell well below this mark. Contrast this with 2018, when 10 sales posted averages above this mark, and with 2017, when the top 10 sales reported averages above $3,100.
As well, the five dispersals of 2019 accounted for a greater share of the 30 total sales as compared to recent years. A bright spot for dispersals was the Hei-Bri Complete Dispersal in April. Herd owners Brian and Heidi Lantzky and their daughters had developed a productive herd of Registered Jerseys using services of the American Jersey Cattle Association (AJCA) for two decades. Buyers showed appreciation for their breeding program, paying an average of $1,332.81 for the 285 lots of milking cows and replacement heifers. Gross receipts totaled $379,850.
The 30 public auctions included in the sales analysis were held in the United States during the calendar year 2019 and submitted to the Jersey Journal by January 6, 2020. Only sales reported with complete catalogs and marked with buyers and prices for all animals are included. Sales with fewer than 10 are included in the summary, but not ranked among the high-averaging sales. Animals that sold in sales with fewer than 10 head, though, are included in the high selling individuals.
|Event||Number Sold||Average Price|
|National Heifer Sale, Saratoga Springs, NY, June 28||35||$10,308.57|
|Franchise Kind III, Columbus, OH, March 23||78||$7,527.88|
|All American Jersey Sale, Louisville, KY, November 10||64||$6,110.16|
|Top of the World Sale, Madison, WI, October 2||38||$2,842.76|
|Post Time at Ratliff’s II, Garnett, Kan., May 3||122||$2,784.22|
|Pot O’Gold Sale, Louisville, Ky., November 9||35||$2,190.00|
|Midwest Spring Special Sale, Rochester, Minn., March 22||66||$2,055.30|
|Ohio Spring Classic Sale, Wooster, OH, May 27||66||$1,947.35|
|Christmas Wishlist Sale, Reynoldsburg, OH, December 12||13||$1,380.77|
|Hei-Bri Jerseys Dispersal, Hawkeye, Iowa, April 19||285||$1,332.81|
For complete coverage, including listings of the high selling animals, read the February issue of the Jersey Journal, or view the PDF document here.
Wetumpka Viceroy Java-P, a “Viceroy” daughter out of Wetumpka Magnum Julianne-P, above, was the year’s high seller, purchased for $103,000 by Matthew Steiner. She was consigned by Cheryl A. Carlson. “Java-P” paced the National Heifer Sale to its series high average of $10,308.57 on 35 lots. She is now the breed’s historical high selling heifer calf.