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Study shows preconditioned calves earn record premiums

A study of prices received on calves sold through seven video auction sales in 2008 reveals cattle producers received the highest premiums since 1995 on VAC45 and VAC PreCon calves, and the second highest premium on VAC34 calves. Fourteen years of Pfizer Animal Health price data shows an increasing value for preconditioned calves.

VAC45 calves earned $8.20/cwt premium, VAC PreCon calves earned $9.36/cwt premium and VAC34 calves earned a $3.57/cwt premium over similar non-weaned, non-viral vaccinated calves.

The VAC45 premium equates to $45.10 more per head for a 550-pound calf, while 550-pound VAC34 calves would be worth $19.63 per head more than non-weaned, non-viral vaccinated calves. As a comparison, the same 550-pound calf that is age and source verified would earn $11.77 per head premium and one that is owner certified natural would only earn a $4.62 per head premium.

"Beef producers are recognizing the health, performance and price benefits of preconditioned calves," said Mike Hamby, Pfizer Animal Health marketing manager.

"Quality continues to earn premiums," said Richard Stober, Superior Livestock Auction general manager. "A recognized, quality program like SelectVAC, with established animal health products, translates to higher prices at sale time. The value to buyers shows in the premiums they are willing to pay for the SelectVAC calves."

Michael E. King, MS, conducted the research study that looked at 3,741 lots of cattle (465,754 head) that sold through seven Superior Livestock Auction video sales in 2008. This study by King quantifies the effects of health and management programs on sale price. In addition to the vaccination programs, King also reviews premiums earned through Owner Certified Natural Program (OCNP), age and source verification, and Non-Hormone Treated Cattle (NHTC) program.

"In 2008, we saw the highest VAC45 (WeanVAC-like) and the second highest VAC34 (PreVAC-like) premiums on record," said Hamby. "These programs continue to deliver value to our producers and put additional income in their pocket."

For more information, call a local Pfizer sales representative, or visit www.selectvac.com.

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