Value of Single Source and Backgrounded Cattle as Measured by Health and Feedlot Profitability

Commingling cattle in the feedlot increases the odds of cattle getting sick. However, backgrounded cattle are less susceptible to diseases which allow the generalizing statements like "backgrounding is just like single source". Using data from over 15,000 cattle fed in 12 Iowa feedlots, we show that although backgrounded cattle do better than preconditioned cattle commingled in the feedlot, they have poorer carcass quality, health, and performance than single source cattle. Backgrounded cattle should be discounted $8.24/head relative to single source, and only received a small premium over multi-source preconditioned cattle though not significantly different.

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2006 NCCC-134 Conference on Applied Commodity Price Analysis, Forecasting, and Market Risk Management

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