Cattle Update: Is Preconditioning Cost-Effective?
Do the returns from preconditioning exceed the costs associated with the practice? Will appropriate rewards accompany the additional time, labor and expense that goes into preconditioning a set of calves? The answer may differ from one producer to the next. Many producers have shied away from preconditioning programs based on a perception that the buyer receives most of the benefits and may not adequately compensate the cow-calf producer for the added value. A recent Colorado State University survey of feedlot managers revealed that they would be willing to pay premiums for several value-added practices should they fit the purchase criterion, including the willingness to pay more for calves managed using a proper vaccination schedule (83.3 percent).