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David Sparks Ph.d Profiting with growth implant
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: April 23, 2019

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First of all let me say that I am in no way affiliated with the Zoetis Animal Health Company. But I do believe my job is to bring you information that relates to educating farmers and ranchers, whether they be crop or livestock producers, on improving their profits. I listened to a recent discussion between Gary Sides, PhD, managing nutritionist with Zoetis, and Tom Short, PhD, associate director in Outcomes Research with Zoetis. The topic they were tossing around was the efficacy of growth implants in cattle and presuming that they were accurate, a compelling argument can be made for incorporating growth implants into one's cattle operation.

Implanted cattle actually bring slightly more dollars per pound on sale day. Based on video auction market sales data from 2014-2017, the data revealed nearly equal prices for implanted and nonimplanted cattle.1 It also showed no statistical difference in sale price between implanted and nonimplanted cattle throughout the four years recorded. In fact, implanted lots of cattle sold for slightly more, numerically, than nonimplanted lots — 184.12 versus 183.03 $/cwt. “If producers are not implanting their cattle, they may be leaving money on the table,” Dr. Short said.

A South Dakota State University study reported implanted calves outperform nonimplanted calves in the feedyard.2 In the report, steers implanted with Synovex® C were compared with nonimplanted steers from weaning through harvest. The findings revealed hot carcass weights were 8 pounds heavier for implanted calves versus those not implanted.2


“The non-implanted calves never caught up in the feedyard,” Dr. Sides said. “This is an amazing use of technology, as well as a little management that can help feedlot managers make the most gain and profit possible.” Cattlemen can optimize implant results and profit for every dollar invested in their implanting program by working with processing crews to implement best-practice implanting techniques.


“If you balance your management program, as well as leverage an implant, you can really add some pounds at the end of the day,” Dr. Short said.

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