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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 II: Nutritional & Reproductive Management Practices, were collected by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) from beef producers in 18 of the largest cow/calf producing states from November 9 through December 4, 1992. 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. Replacement heifers were an average of 25 months old at first calving. During calving, 9 percent of replacement heifers required assistance via easy pull, and 7 percent required assistance via hard pull. Ninety-eight percent of mature cows required no assistance. Fifty-three percent of operations had no set calving season. Approximately 88 percent of replacement females were raised (not purchased). In purchasing females, the factor rated as extremely important by the greatest number of operations was temperament (33 percent). In purchasing bulls, several factors were rated as extremely important, including breed, appearance, and temperament (52, 51, and 49 percent of operations, respectively). In culling bulls, infertility, disease, and physical unsoundness were rated as extremely important (77, 62, and 57 percent of operations, respectively). For nearly 53 percent of operations, calf age/weight was the most important factor in determining when to wean. The most popular method of identifying individual cows was via plastic ear tag (45 percent of operations). The predominance of operations sold weaned steers/bulls, weaned heifers, cull cows and cull bulls by auction (85, 84, 94, and 91 percent, respectively). Two percent of operations practiced forward pricing. Approximately forty-eight percent of weaning or suckling age calves received nutritional supplement implants. Five percent of operations had experienced problems with magnesium deficiency during the previous 5 years; selenium toxicity had been a problem in 0.3 percent of operations during the previous 5 years. Over 77 percent of operations dewormed cattle; the predominance of operations also treated cattle for grubs, ticks, lice, and flies (61, 60, 74, and 84 percent, respectively). Contact for this paper: David Dargatz


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