Merial is pleased to announce that this year marks the tenth anniversary of the launch of the MERIAL® SUREHEALTHSM Calf Preconditioning Program. The program’s proven, comprehensive health protocol maximizes the health, performance and value of calves and is the only nationwide calf preconditioning program that requires veterinarian certification. In addition to being backed by a 21-day limited health warranty, SUREHEALTH also offers age and source verification, helping to make calves ready for export.
“During the past 10 years, SUREHEALTH has added value to hundreds of thousands of calves. Preconditioning programs are designed to help reduce stress at weaning and improve the immune systems of calves, which potentially can lead to better performance postweaning,”1 says Michele Egan, Marketing Communications Manager for Merial. “But for Merial, SUREHEALTH is about more than just improving calf health; it also represents our long-standing dedication to cattle producers.”
The SUREHEALTH program verifies the health of calves through a protocol that includes parasite control with trusted IVOMEC®brand products, two rounds of vaccinations, a 45-day weaning period and other best management practices, such as castration and dehorning. The SUREHEALTH® veterinarian certification also creates greater demand at auctions compared with preconditioned cattle that are not certified.2
Preconditioned calves can also command a premium price at sale time. According to the results of a Cattle-Fax survey, many producers are paying a premium – ranging from $5 to $25 per head – for age– and source–verified calves.3 In addition, an Iowa State University study compared price for more than 20,000 lots of cattle at 105 sales. The results showed a $2.75 per hundredweight increase in the premium paid for calves weaned for at least 30 days and preconditioned through third-party-verified programs like SUREHEALTH versus those with unverified claims.4 The increase was even greater – up to $6.15 per hundredweight – when third-party-verified calves that had been weaned for at least 30 days were compared with unconditioned calves.4
Ken Nimrick, who has been in the cattle business for more than 50 years and uses SUREHEALTH on his operation in Western Illinois, emphasizes the many advantages of the program, saying, “It reduces stress at weaning and selling time, which means you have fewer animals to treat, a more uniform herd and, as a result of the protocols of the SUREHEALTH program, the calves take off and grow well. Producers can count on this preconditioning program to be profitable. Whether cattle prices are high or low, the SUREHEALTH program pays off because every extra pound brings you more revenue.”
Research results also show that preconditioned calves have a decreased incidence of health issues post-weaning.5 Some buyers will pay premium prices for preconditioned calves because they recognize they will most likely see “reduced incidence of illness, lower medicine costs, decreased labor requirements, improved performance and enhanced beef product quality.”5 In fact, the 2005 Arkansas Livestock Market Survey showed that “healthy calves sold for $33.47 per hundredweight more than lame calves and $37.99 per hundredweight more than sick calves.”5
“There’s no magic to preconditioning programs,” says Todd Jennings, a senior sales development representative with Merial. “To help ensure the health of their herds, producers have got to deworm their cattle and vaccinate them against bacterial disease and viruses. Many producers are already doing these things. By participating in the SUREHEALTH program, not only can they help enhance calf health by implementing proven protocols, but they can also improve the marketability of those calves and maximize profits.”
For more information about the SUREHEALTH program, and for a full listing of eligible products and protocols, see www.SUREHEALTH.com.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
IVOMEC® Plus (ivermectin/clorsulon): Do not treat cattle within 49 days of slaughter. Do not use in dairy cattle of breeding age or in veal calves. IVOMEC (ivermectin) Pour-On: Do not treat cattle within 48 days of slaughter. Do not use in dairy cattle of breeding age or in veal calves. IVOMEC 1% Injection for Cattle and Swine: Do not treat cattle within 35 days of slaughter. Do not use in dairy cattle of breeding age or in veal calves. Do not treat swine within 18 days of slaughter. IVOMEC EPRINEX® (eprinomectin) Pour-On for Beef and Dairy: No meat or milk withdrawal is required when used according to label. All IVOMEC Brand Products: Do not use in other animal species not on the label as severe adverse reactions, including fatalities in dogs, may result.
IVOMEC® EPRINEX® (eprinomectin): No meat or milk withdrawal is required when used according to label. Do not use in other animal species not on the label as severe adverse reactions, including fatalities in dogs, may result.
Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately 5,600 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide.Its 2010 sales were more than $2.6 billion. Merial is a Sanofi company. For more information, please see www.merial.com.
1Avent RK, Ward CE, Lalman DL. Economic value of preconditioning feeder calves. Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service AGEC-583. Available at: http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-1969/F-583+we.... Accessed April 13, 2009.
2 SUREHEALTH Commercial Assessment. Merial Animal Health LAGE. September 2006.
3 Cattle-Fax Special Edition. April 2007. Available at: http://www.cattlefax.com/page_attachments/0000/0961/special070425.pdf. Accessed August 29, 2011.
4 Bulut H, Lawrence JD, Martin RE. The value of third-party certification claims at Iowa’s feeder cattle auctions. Iowa State University Extension. September 2006.
5 Powell J. “Livestock Health Series: Preconditioning Programs for Beef Calves.” University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. FSA3074. Available at: http://www.uaex.edu/Other_Areas/publications/PDF/FSA-3074.pdf. Accessed August 22, 2011.
®MERIAL and IVOMEC are registered trademarks, SUREHEALTH is a registered certification mark, and SMSUREHEALTH is a service mark, of Merial Limited. ©2011 Merial Limited, Duluth, GA. All rights reserved. RUMILSH1102 (08/11)