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Zilmax Offers Extended Marketing Window For Cattle Feeders

02 February 2009

MSD Animal Health - NYSE:MRK

US - A few days of market fluctuations can have dramatic effects on a feedyard's bottom line, which means marketing flexibility is a valuable asset to a manager.

A recent Oklahoma State University study shows Zilmax can be withdrawn for up to 10 days without loss in performance, providing feedyard managers additional marketing flexibility when feeding Zilmax.

"Feeding Zilmax the recommended 20 days provides tremendous carcass advantages for cattle feeders. The added flexibility of an extended marketing window helps feeders leverage their marketing options for even greater profitability," says Marshall Streeter, Ph.D., Technical Services Specialist for Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health.

Researchers studied several Zilmax-withdrawal periods — 0, 3, 10, 17 and 24 days — in a small-pen study of British and British-crossbred steers. The study objective was to determine how withdrawing Zilmax after the recommended 20-day duration would affect feedlot performance, carcass traits, fabrication results and tenderness.

"Similar products currently offered in the market cannot be withdrawn without a loss in performance and, therefore, cattle feeders are left with limited market flexibility," Dr. Streeter says. "With Zilmax, we wanted to determine how big the marketing window was for feeders without a loss in performance."

Study Results

"In this study, we again saw the consistent carcass weight improvement of 32 pounds after the 3-day withdrawal. We also were able to verify that the performance gain is maintained at least up to 10 days after the withdrawal," Dr. Streeter says. "The 10-day withdrawal period for the Zilmax-fed cattle demonstrated a 38 pound carcass gain advantage."

The Oklahoma State research validates Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health’s extensive post-approval commercial research that shows Zilmax consistently provides an additional 30 pounds of hot carcass weight (HCW) in steers when fed the recommended 20 days. The HCW values for the four withdrawal periods — 3, 10, 17 and 24 days — are as follows: 32, 38, 19 and 24 pounds.

In addition to an extended marketing window and maintained carcass value, the study indicates tenderness improves during the extended withdrawal period. Warner-Bratzler Shear Force values were improved between 3-day and 10-day withdrawals by nearly a 0.4 kg reduction with just 7 days of aging. Steaks from cattle fed Zilmax with a 10-day withdrawal continued to show reductions in shear force more than steaks from cattle with a 3-day Zilmax withdrawal.

"The 20-day recommendation provides us nearly all the performance gain with minimal effects on quality," Dr. Streeter says. "However, if tenderness levels are maintained — and potentially improved — during this extended marketing window, we are bringing even more value to the marketplace."

"Unlike similar products on the market, Zilmax provides benefits to the carcasses that are not lost when the product is withdrawn for up to 10 days," Dr. Streeter says. "That is marketing flexibility."

Zilmax from Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health

About Zilmax

Zilmax is a feed ingredient that enables a beef animal's metabolism to more efficiently convert feed to protein. It is designed to improve production efficiencies, such as average daily gain and feed efficiency, in steers and heifers during the last 20 to 40 days of the feeding period prior to harvest.

When fed in the recommended 20-day program for steers and heifers, studies indicate Zilmax improves live weight gain and feed efficiency. Zilmax-fed cattle showed an improvement in carcass weight gain of 25-30 pounds and dressing percentage of about 1.4 percentage points. Further, when fed a 20-day period, Zilmax doubled the percentage of Yield Grade 1 cattle and cut in half the number of Yield Grade 4 and 5 cattle with minimal effects on quality grade.

Zilmax is the first beef-improvement technology to add real value to the entire U.S. beef system by helping the industry more efficiently produce a safe, quality product. For more information about Zilmax, visit www.zilmax.com.

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