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
California                                           7
Idaho                                                32
Nevada                                               3
Oregon                                               4
Utah                                                  29
Washington                                      36
Rocky Mountain
Colorado                                           10
Montana                                           30
Wyoming                                          21
North Central region
Illinois                                               71
Iowa                                                  50
Michigan                                             9
Minnesota                                         60
Nebraska                                           31
North Dakota                                   39
South Dakota                                   21
Wisconsin                                         18
South Central region
Arizona                                                4
Kansas                                               48
Missouri                                            30
New Mexico                                        8
Oklahoma                                          36
Texas                                                  28
South East region
Alabama                                            38
Arkansas                                            12
Florida                                                70
Georgia                                              45
Louisiana                                            70
Mississippi                                          41
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.