Iowa research shows value of third-party cattle certification

US - Most U.S. feeder cattle are sold through auction markets. While auctions are very efficient at bringing buyers and sellers together, it can be difficult for buyers to verify unobservable traits such as vaccinations and previous management of the cattle.
calendar icon 31 October 2006
clock icon 1 minute read
Third party programs, such as state-sanctioned green or gold tag preconditioning programs, or similar private company programs, have potential to address this problem provided that buyers trust the integrity of programs and procedures.

Recently completed research by Iowa State University Extension economists looked at the value to beef producers of using a third-party certify. Iowa Beef Center director John Lawrence was the lead researcher.

"The data was from over 20,000 lots of cattle in 105 auctions at nine locations. The report shows the value of different weaning and vaccination practices, but more importantly it shows there is value in third party certification," Lawrence says. "All else being equal, green tags calves, weaned at least 30 days, and with a signed preconditioning certificate received over $6 per hundredweight (cwt) more than a newly weaned calf with no vaccination. The signed preconditioning certificate was worth $3 per cwt over the seller making the claim that the cattle were weaned and vaccinated."



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