Dr. Tom Wittum of the OSU Veterinary Medicine School and other researchers from around the country collected data to quantify the effect of implant status on the sale price of lots of beef calves marketed through a livestock video auction service.
The data analyzed were collected from 92 livestock video auctions from 2010 to 2013. Only lots of beef calves were included in the study. There were 27,746 lots and 2,749,406 total calves used in the analyses. Mean lot sizes were approximately 100 head and were expected to be truckload quantity lot sizes.
Percentage of implanted calf lots (lots = 20 calves or more)
West Coast region
North Central region
North Dakota 39
South Dakota 21
South Central region
New Mexico 8
South East region
North Carolina 67
Implant status had no effect on the sale price of beef calves in any year. But another way to put it was there was not a price benefit for not implanting calves. Unless well-planned marketing strategies are used that capture a premium for “natural” (or non-implanted) calves, beef producers will receive reduced revenue from calf sales by choosing not to implant nursing calves.