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TB Marketing Costs Tool Developed in the US

19 August 2008

US - The University of Minnesota Extension Beef Team and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture have developed a spreadsheet to help producers determine additional costs of preparing feeder calves to meet bovine tuberculosis requirements for marketing.

The spreadsheet generates values for feeder and whole herd groups of cattle to test, while also taking into consideration herd structure (herd size, weaning rate, heifer retention, and bull-to-cow ratio). It is a tool that veterinarians, educators and producers can customize, and it can be accessed for free online at

Under current Modified Accredited status, intact cattle (typically heifers) can only cross state borders if the herd of origin has had a TB test within the last year, and feeders are individually tested. Alternatively, all feeders can cross state borders if all feeders are castrated (steers) or certified spayed (heifers). The spreadsheet permits estimation of costs for each alternative.

Additionally, if producers need to conduct a whole herd and individual TB tests, the spreadsheet estimates the additional cost of testing these groups separately.

A discount by weight sensitivity table helps the user determine the value of discount that breaks even with the cost of testing the whole herd and individual feeders or individual feeders (steers and certified spayed heifers). Values highlighted in the spreadsheet represent ranges below breakeven costs (steers) or between whole herd and individual breakeven costs and individual certified spayed heifer breakeven costs.

The spreadsheet and accompanying interpretive summary are available on the Extension Beef Team Website,

Further Reading

- Find out more information on Bovine Tuberculosis by clicking here.

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