Thebeta-agonist Zilmax was temporarily pulled from the market last week by Merck Animal Health, leaving many wondering how it will impact the beef industry. Industry estimates suggest that 70% of the U.S. fed cattle population is finished on a beta agonist, either Zilmax or Elanco’s Optaflexx.

According to the company’s statement, Zilmax sales in the U.S. and Canada totaled $159 million in 2012. I decided to do a little of what a former business associate liked to call fake math, one of my favorite hobbies.

Starting with their figure of $159 million, I did some Googling to determine the price of the product. According to an archived version of Merck’s product page for Zilmax, ‘The July 2013 Merck Animal Health Suggested Retail Price for Zilmax (zilpaterol hydrochloride) feed supplement is $8,453.00/10kg bag.

Read more about the Zilmaxsituation and how it could impact the beef market here.

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