While producers have traditionally participated in Beef Quality Assurance because it’s the right thing to do, there is sound research that indicates BQA-certified producers can benefit financially as well. According to a recent study by the Beef Checkoff-funded BQA program and conducted by Colorado State University, results show a significant premium for calves and feeder cattle sold through video auction markets.
The research study “Effect of Mentioning BQA in Lot Descriptions of Beef Calves and Feeder Cattle Sold Through Video-based Auctions on Sale Price,” led jointly by CSU’s Departments of Animal Sciences and Agricultural and Resource Economics, was conducted to determine if the sale price of beef calves and feeder cattle marketed through video auction companies was influenced by the mention of BQA in the lot description. Partnering with Western Video Market, CSU reviewed data from 8,815 video lot records of steers (steers, steer calves or weaned steers) and heifers (heifers, heifer calves or weaned heifers) sold in nine western states from 2010–2017.
The result was a premium of $16.80/head for cattle that had BQA listed in the lot description. This value was determined by applying the $2.71/cwt premium found in CSU’s statistical analysis to the average weight of cattle in the study data. When the BQA premium was constant on a per head basis, it implied higher weight-based premiums for lighter cattle (for example $3.73/cwt at 450 lbs/head) and lower premiums for heavier cattle ($2.24/cwt at 750 lbs/head).