UC Livestock Economics

Research Areas

Western Video Market

What programs are adding value to your cattle?

Veterinary Feed Directive

What do you need to know?

Livestock Guardian Dogs

Do the benefits outweigh the costs?

Coming soon

Recent Blog Posts

Short-Term Impacts of COVID-19 for the Beef Industry


Among the myriad of concerns surrounding the global COVID-19 pandemic is unease about the performance of the U.S. food supply chain. The recent pricing patterns and market dynamics observed in the beef industry have stimulated a lot of concern and discussion about what the future holds. In this blog I discuss the short-term demand impacts and how these changes have influenced beef prices, as well as a variety of factors that are likely to impact the supply side of the beef market. Many researchers and analysts have been considering these topics from a variety of angles. I endeavor here to …

Vaccination Programs: Do Branded Programs Increase Price?

Since I have started analyzing Western Video Market data, ranchers have significantly changed and enhanced their vaccination programs. In the 1997 data, only 20% of ranchers marketed cattle with respiratory vaccinations. The most recent data (2018) indicate that virtually all producers market lots with respiratory vaccines given prior to delivery. The flexibility of the video auction format and the detailed sales catalog allows ranchers to provide extensive vaccination descriptions including brands of vaccination, date administered, and frequency. This blog considers the question: do ranchers that market their cattle with branded vaccination programs (e.g., Zoetis or Western Video Market) earn more …

2018 WVM Value Added Management Programs

The value-added management and marketing programs available to cattle ranchers creates substantial ranch-level complexity and often considerable uncertanity. While all of the programs are likely to add costs, the additional income generated is uncertain and likely variable. Given that lots of cattle sold typically participate in many programs and management decisions must be made months or even years prior to sale, it is nearly impossible for ranchers to forecast the premium associated with implementing any one program. This post focuses on the premiums/discounts for the most common value-added management and marketing programs for lots marketed in 2018