Suther's Perspective

BVD a costly disease…


Bovine viral diarrhea or BVD, is one of the most costly cattle disease that we as producers face.  BVD develops within pregnant mothers (if exposed) and transfers to the calf between days 40 and 125 of gestation.  This resulting transfer yields a PI (persistently infected) calf.  These calves are then lifelong carriers of the disease, constantly shedding it into their environment.  These calves are less thrifty than their non-PI counterparts.  Profit reduction from PI and BVD infected cattle range from $15 – $25 per cow-calf pair and $42 – $93 dollars in a feedyard.  These costs are indicative of added treatment and labor costs that PI calves generate.

Thus, NCBA is offering a way to entice producers to test their cattle for BVD.  They are starting a new program where tests for BVD only cost $2.25 per head with no minimum of animals tested.  The results when then be used to form demographic data for regions (maintaining strict confidentiality) to highlight areas where BVD efforts need to be ramped up.  Included in the cost of testing is unlimited access to BVD experts.  Moreover, reports from auction where BVD tested calves have been sold report premiums of $2.42/cwt being paid.  This more than covers the cost of testing as well as supplies our buyers with added confidence and comfort in the products that we are selling.

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