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Elanco acquires Cattle Classification and Sorting System

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Science-based system helps producers capture added value from objectively sorting cattle.

Elanco Animal Health Incorporated is acquiring a novel technology designed to help reduce production inefficiencies by classifying and sorting cattle to allow for more uniform feeding and an easier, more objective marketing experience. The ability to classify and sort cattle to ensure they are fed to optimal end weights represents a significant financial opportunity of $10-$40/head, the company explained.

The Cattle Classification and Sorting System (CCSS) was developed by Performance Cattle Company LLC and joins Elanco Knowledge Solutions now as PENPOINT, adding to the existing portfolio of products designed to optimize practices and products through a matrix of proprietary data and technology delivered by industry experts. Financial details were not disclosed. No other financial assets of Amarillo, Texas-based Performance Cattle were acquired as part of this transaction.

About the system

Cattle entering the feedlot are often highly variable because of breeds, genetics, health and nutritional backgrounds. Management practices that utilize tools like PENPOINT can help better manage the natural diversity within groups of cattle and manage the feeding and marketing of the animals.

PENPOINT removes variability using a simple, effective, and consistent science-based method that employs quantitative information to make projections. The system simplifies the difficult task of objectively measuring and sorting cattle in order to limit lost environmental inputs that impact a producer’s bottom line.

The easy-to-operate system integrates with existing feed yard operations and information systems without adding complicated record-keeping.

“Meaningful healthcare for livestock is more than just medicines. It is technology and innovations that help change the way we approach protein production for the betterment of people, animals and the planet,” said Jose Simas, executive vice president of U.S. Farm Animal Business for Elanco. “I am excited to be able to increase access to this important technology throughout the US as a part of our pledge to be cattle producers’ lead partner on the journey toward net zero emissions on their farms.”

Max Garrison, president of Performance Cattle Company LLC, commented, “We are excited that Elanco will bring the CCSS tool to a larger audience in the cattle industry. Variation and lack of uniformity of feedlot cattle is a significant challenge for producers. Cattle entering the feedlot often are highly variable because of diversity of breeds, genetics, health and nutritional backgrounds. Today’s customary cattle feeding practices result in pens of cattle that are too diverse in size and stage of maturity to return the full economic value that they should.”

Performance Cattle Company principals Max Garrison and Dale Garcia will serve as consultants during the transition.

Originally launched by Performance Cattle Company in 2003, the tool has been used with more than 13 MM head of cattle. A controlled research study of 12,874 randomized steers fed in 48 pens showed a significant increase in the actual net value derived from use of the CCSS. Because of improved cattle uniformity within each pen, sorted cattle produced both increased live weights and greater hot carcass weights. In addition, cattle were more consistent in size (less over- and under-weight carcasses) and maturity (less Yield Grade 4 & 5, which are subject to the biggest discounts by buyers).                                                                                       

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