NAHMS begins preparing cow-calf study

The USDA's Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) regularly conducts major studies of livestock-production segments to track animal-health related trends and practices. During 2017, NAHMS will focus on the cow-calf segment, collecting data from producers around the country. Currently, NAHMS researchers are planning the 2017 survey and asking for input from producers and stakeholders.

USDA veterinarian Dave Dargatz, DVM, PhD, who manages beef-cattle research for NAHMS, says that over the next few months the group will solicit input from stakeholders on setting the upcoming study's objectives and on the industry issues the study should address.

Dargatz says the Beef 2017 study will survey producers, including personal interviews in more than 20 states. The survey population will include at least 70% of beef operations and 70% of the beef cows in the United States. Overall, the study will focus on health and management of cattle in cow-calf operations.

The most recent NAHMS cow-calf study took place in 2007 and 2008. The group conducted a beef feedlot study in 2011 and most recently, a dairy study in 2014.

To provide input on the upcoming study and the types of resulting information that would best benefit the industry, producers, veterinarians and other industry stakeholders can fill out an online survey from the NAHMS research team. Stakeholder input at this stage will help the NAHMS team design their study in a way that collects information that best serves producers, veterinarians, researchers and the beef industry overall.

NAHMS is a branch of USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services, based in Fort Collins, Colo.