Cattle producers earned $16 million in premiums during the first nine months of IBP's new, value-based livestock buying program.

The Real Time Market Value (RTMV) program was introduced in January 2000 as a way to provide greater rewards for livestock producers who raise superior quality cattle. The carcass merit buying system more accurately reflects value, since the premiums and discounts are frequently adjusted to reflect changing wholesale beef prices.

Over the first quarters of 2000, 1.1 million cattle were marketed through the program. Premiums averaged $14.10 over the average USDA's Kansas cash market. The top 25 percent of RTMV cattle, were paid an average premium of $69.33 per head.