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Abstract

The cattle industry batch markets animals in pens. Because of this, animals within any one pen can be both underfed and overfed. Thus, there is a production inefficiency associated with batch marketing. We simulate the value of sorting animals through weight and ultrasound measurements from original pens into smaller alternative marketing groups. Sorting exploits the production inefficiency and enables cattle feeding enterprises to avoid meat quality discounts, capture premiums, more efficiently use feed resources, and increase returns. The value of sorting is between $15 and $25 per head, with declining marginal returns as the number of sort groups increases.

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