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A hedonic analysis of sale lot traits affecting calf prices in Mississippi auction markets

      ABSTRACT

      The objective of this study was to quantify lot trait influences on calf prices at Mississippi auction markets. From May 2014 to 2015, 21,128 calf lots at 4 auctions were evaluated. With price differentials relative to BCS 1 to 3, premiums (P < 0.0001) were $0.2553/0.4536 kg (BCS 4), $0.3242/0.4536 kg (BCS 5), $0.3474/0.4536 kg (BCS 6), $0.3150/0.4536 kg (BCS 7), and $0.3094/0.4536 kg (BCS 8 to 9). Calves with branded hides sold for $0.0170/0.4536 kg less (P = 0.02) than unbranded calves. Price per unit BW decreased (P < 0.0001) as BW increased. There was a $0.1652/0.4536 kg premium (P < 0.0001) for black hair coat. Horned calves were discounted $0.1464/0.4536 kg (P < 0.0001). Large- and medium-framed calves were priced comparably (P = 0.41), but small-framed calves were discounted (P < 0.0001) $0.2023/0.4536 kg. Relative to average gut fill, gaunt or shrunk calves sold for $0.0839 more (P < 0.0001) and full calves for $0.0278/0.4536 kg less (P < 0.01). Price increased (P < 0.0001) as muscle thickness increased. Mildly lame or sound calves earned premiums (P < 0.001) of $0.3799/0.4536 kg or $0.5113, respectively, versus moderate to extremely lame calves. Premiums were $0.0306/0.4536 kg (P = 0.02) and $0.0402/0.4536 kg (P < 0.01) for calm and slightly alarmed calves, respectively, versus moderately alarmed, nervous, or aggressive calves. Cost should be weighed against price differentials to determine profitable trait levels.

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