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Market Calves as BVD-PI-free and Earn More

Market Calves as BVD-PI-free and Earn More
Net return from marketing calves as BVD-PI free is about $14 for a 600-lb calf

For the second consecutive year, research shows cattle buyers are paying a higher premium for calves that test negative for being persistently infected with bovine viral diarrhea.

According to an analysis of Superior Livestock Auction data for more than 400,000 head marketed during 2013, producers who marketed animals as BVD-PI free received an average premium of $2.97 per hundredweight. Compared to untested calves, this translates to an additional net profit of $14 for every 600-pound BVD-PI-free calf.

Net return from marketing calves as BVD-PI free is about $14 for a 600-lb calf

"This second consecutive year of substantial and increasing price premiums for BVD-PI-free calves demonstrates that buyers are clearly recognizing the added value from this practice," says Glenn Rogers, D.V.M., Superior Livestock Auction consultant.

Related: 6 Steps To Successfully Marketing Premium Calves

During the past two years, 88 lots of cattle sold through Superior Livestock Auction were identified as being BVD-PI-free by laboratory diagnostic testing. Sales data for these calves were compared to results from 6,175 other lots.

In 2013, the 47 lots identified as being BVD-PI-free brought a $2.97-per-hundredweight premium compared to non-BVD-PI-tested cattle. For a 600-pound calf, this meant a $17.82 advantage. After subtracting the testing costs, producers netted at least $14 per head.

"This shows a year-on-year increase of $3.30 per 600-pound calf — real-world data that confirms buyers recognize the benefits of paying more for BVD-PI-free status cattle," says Jeff Baxter, Senior Product Manager for Gold Standard Labs, which provides BVD-PI diagnostic services.

"Buyers are willing to pay premiums for these BVD-PI-free documented cattle because they know the ROI benefit of paying more for these cattle will be realized in better health and performance."

For more information on the testing process, which requires a simple ear notch and offers same-day results after sample is received, contact Gold Standard Labs at 800-808-3552 or [email protected].

Source: Gold Standard

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