When producers aren't getting the extra weight gain from their implant product, it is often because the implant was improperly administered. A Kansas State University study shows that average daily gains and feed efficiency were lowered almost 9 percent by abscessed growth implants. This economic opportunity loss translated to $17.70 per head.

Producers can get the most from their implanting efforts by properly implanting cattle using an easy and proven three-step method called "scrape, brush and disinfect."
In this method, an initial assessment of ear surface cleanliness is made. If the ear is dirty, no matter whether it's wet or dry, a dull steak knife is used to scrape foreign material from the ear, then the ear is brushed and disinfected before the implant is placed.

The ideal brush to clean and disinfect is two-sided and has brass bristles on one side and nylon bristles on the other side. The brass bristles are used first to brush the ear two or three times. The nylon-bristles are used for one stroke. In between uses, the brush should be placed in a small bucket of disinfectant solution.

Employing the scrape, brush, disinfect method takes three to five seconds. Because it takes little time and is worthwhile, many producers now simply scrape, brush and disinfect every animal rather than evaluating each ear.