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Don't Blow Age and Source Beef Premiums

Don't Blow Age and Source Beef Premiums
Simple clerical mistakes can result in significant losses.

Kris Ringwall, NDSU Extension beef specialist, says he saw another "glaring" example" of an almost missed marketing opportunity.

"Sixty-seven head of cattle were sent to harvest. During the process, the cattle numbers were read and verified. However, the alarms sounded and people jumped when the numbers that were in the harvest process did not match the shipping manifest," he says.

Eleven of the 67 steers where not on the manifest.

"At a minimum, the 11 head would lose any added value when it comes to age and source verified beef and associated beef products. The 11 head put at risk all 67 steers because, in some situations, the cattle in the lot are set aside and processed as non-aged or sourced cattle," he says.

The cattle were later identified on another manifest, so the mistake was corrected.

But everyone involved learned a valueable lesson, Ringwall says: Get the numbers right.

Producers cannot afford the lost value, and having marketing opportunities smashed should not happen," he says.

"Now is the time, before the calves leave home, to make sure they are not limited in marketing possibilities. Every opportunity should be utilized to keep all markets open and available to increase net profit, he says.

Make sure that all the calves are properly identified prior to leaving the ranch and that all calves meet the requirements of the selected verification program.

In addition, make sure that all the individual calf numbers are correct and match the marketing and shipping manifests that indicate which calves went where.

As the new owner of high-value calves, verify that the numbers are correct prior to the final harvest.

"There is no room for error," he says.

Source: NDSU Extension Communications

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