As the largest cattle marketing entity in the world, Superior Livestock Auction, based in Fort Worth, Texas sells more than 1.5 million head of cattle annually through video and internet auctions. The company hosts video auctions throughout the year allowing cattle producers to sell cattle directly from the ranch to backgrounders or feedyards.
Superior Livestock Auction has been an innovator in incorporating value added marketing programs into the sale of cattle consigned to their video auctions. Cattle enrolled in value added programs are marketed with varying program requirements allowing buyers to choose from cattle carrying the specifications they are seeking. During his presentation at the SDSU Marketing Options seminar held recently in Mitchell, S.D., Bill Hardy regional manager and representative for Superior Livestock Auction shared results of a 2011 study conducted to measure the impact of health and management programs on the price of beef calves sold through ten of Superior’s video auctions.
The study collected data on 3,416 lots of calves (408,087) head sold between April 22 and September 23, 2011. Results indicated the price difference for calves in vaccination programs when compared to unweaned/unvaccinated calves were: VAC24 $4.77/cwt; VAC 34 $6.55/cwt and VAC 45 $11.88/cwt more. Price premiums for all health protocols in 2011 were the largest reported in the 17 years of tracking data from Superior sales with the exception of the Vac PreCon protocol which received a premium high in 2008 of $9.36/cwt.
Additional results tabulated in the Superior tracking project determined that source-and-age verified calves sold for significantly higher price in 2011 than similar calves that were not source-and-age verified. The $1.70/cwt premium paid was also found to be within the range of values paid for source-and-age cattle of $0.52/cwt in 2005 to $2.14/cwt in 2008. Calves in the Non-Hormone Treated Cattle program (NHTC) sold for $2.46/cwt more in 2011 compared with similar calves in the program that were not enrolled in NHTC.
Cattle that were certified natural did not show an increase in price in 2011. However, years of 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2009 the market did add value for cattle enrolled in the certified natural program. Towards the end of the marketing year of 2011 demand started to pick up for the certified natural cattle and it has continued in 2012, Hardy explained.
Another program, the BVD-PI Free program was found to have no effect on sales price in the four years the program has been offered for cattle marketed on Superior.
For complete information on the vale added programs such as vaccination program requirements, certified natural and the BVD-PI program visit Superior Livestock’s website at www.superiorlivestockauction.com and click on the value added tab.
Source: B. Lynn Gordon