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Abstract

As part of the National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS ), USDA:APHIS:Veterinary Services conducted a national study of beef production, the Beef Cow/Calf Health and Productivity Audit (CHAPA). This study was designed to provide both participants and the industry with information on cow/calf health, productivity, and management practices. Data for Part III: Beef Cow/Calf Health & Health Management were collected by federal and state veterinary officers (VMO's) in 18 of the largest cow/calf producing states between January 4 and February 28, 1993. These 18 states represented 70 percent of the U.S. beef cow inventory. Participating producers had five or more beef cows or beef replacement heifers and fifty percent or more of their 1992 calf crop born between January 1 and June 30, 1992. Nearly forty-seven percent of operations removed bulls from the female breeding herd for at least one estrus cycle to manipulate calving dates. Forty-seven percent of operations that purchased, leased, or borrowed bulls semen tested the bulls. Thirty-two percent of operations fed replacement heifers separately from the rest of the herd. The average per-calf weaning weight of calves weaned in 1992 was 502 pounds; the average value was $451.15. For breeding-age females, the average weight per animal sold was 988 pounds; the average value was $549.44. For breeding-age males, the average weight per animal sold was 1,494 pounds; the average value was $1,154.04. The largest single cause of total cattle death loss was calving problems (26 percent of death loss). Two of the top conditions producers believed had a significant economic impact on the cow/calf operation included internal and external parasites. Other such conditions included late reproduction, pinkeye, and calf scours. Operation-level vaccine usage varied by animal class. Contact for this paper: David Dargatz

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