Iowa State University Extension has released recently completed research studying the value to beef producers of using third-party certification.
"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," says John Lawrence, lead researcher and director of Iowa Beef Center.
Buyers at auctions often find it difficult to verify aspects of cattle that cannot be observed, such as vaccination and management history. Third party programs have the potential to address this problem so long as these programs can maintain the trust of buyers.
Lawrence says the study suggests benefits in using third party programs.
"All else being equal, green tags calves, weaned at least 30 days, and with a signed preconditioning certificate received over $6/cwt more than a newly weaned calf with no vaccination. The signed preconditioning certificate was worth $3/cwt over the seller making the claim that the cattle were weaned and vaccinated," he said.
The entire publication can be found at www.extension.iastate.edu/store/ or by calling (515) 294-5247.