K-State's Maggie Smith Talks About Setting Your Calves Up for Success with VAC-45Tue, 08 Oct 2019 18:56:50 CDT
Setting calves up for success
As farmers and ranchers try to add value to their calves, new research looks at the health and management options that work best.
The farther your calves need to travel after weaning, the more it pays to prepare them with proactive vaccination and management says a recent study of Superior Livestock data by Kansas State University.
"We found that as potential transportation distance increased from point of origin to potential delivery location, that the value for a vaccination and health program actually increased," said Maggie Smith, Graduate Research Assistant, Kansas State University. "Showing that the farther the distance the calves might have to travel, the more that an intensively managed vaccination program would pay off."
Watch a short video-clip featuring Maggie Smith, Graduate Research Assistant, Kansas State University, shares her thoughts on using VAC-45 on your weaned calves, by clicking or tapping the PLAYBOX in the window below.
They looked at four regions in the United States to see where a 45-day-weaned and twice-vaccinated – or VAC45 program – returns the most on investment.
"For example, from the north-central region, which would be closer to the highest concentrated area of cattle feeding, we found a premium of around $5 for a VAC-45, which is one of the more intensive vaccination programs we took a look at," Smith said. "And then when we looked at the southeast, that premium actually increased a little bit, and was right around $8.50 a hundred weight. Overall, we saw high premiums associated with the VAC-45 programs in all regions."
The extra $30 to $50 per head compared to calves with no weaning or health information makes it worth considering, Smith says. But every operation is different.
"It's certainly a justification that preconditioning and vaccination programs are valuable for calves," Smith said. "All in all, it's really up to the choice of the producer and what best fits their management and marketing goals, and the resources they have available in terms of labor and facilities."
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