Submitted to: Western Section of Animal Science Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/22/2005
Publication Date: 6/22/2005
Citation: Bohnert, D.W., Angell, R.F., Torell, R.C. 2005. A survey of cow-calf producers in Oregon and Nevada - Production practices. Western Section of Animal Science 56:183-185.
Technical Abstract: In 2004, a cow-calf production survey was sent to 1,400 individuals in NV (NV Cattleman’s Association members and associate members; University of NV – Reno, Cooperative Extension Service livestock mailing list) and 2,090 individuals in OR (OR Cattleman’s Association mailing list) in order to better understand current cow-calf management practices and enhance Extension beef programs in the Intermountain West. A total of 462 surveys were returned (91 from NV; 371 from OR). There was a wide range in average herd size with 25, 36, 24, and 12% of respondents listing 0-50, 51-200, 201-600, and greater than 600 hd, respectively (3% didn’t provide a herd size). Fifty-two percent of the survey respondents always cull open cows. In addition, of the 48% (222 respondents) that claimed to not cull all open cows, the top 3 reasons for keeping an open cow were young cows (51%), if the cow had been a good producer in the past (25%), and if the cow lost her calf through no fault of her own (23%). The most common culling rate for cows was 10% or less (43%), while 54% of respondents claimed annual cow death loss to be less than 0.5%. An overwhelming majority of producers (74%) raised their own replacement heifers, with 49% rating their heifer replacement program as excellent and 42% claiming to need improvement. The most common annual cow cost was $251-300 (22%), with both $201-250 and $301-350 being listed by 18% of producers. The annual return on investment was listed as positive, breakeven, and negative by 64, 16, and 5% of respondents, respectively. Only 25% of producers conduct complete breeding soundness exams on their bulls each year and 40% don’t test their bulls at all. Nevertheless, the average pregnancy rate was listed as greater than 91% by 70% of the respondents. This survey provides information on current cow-calf production practices in NV and OR and will assist in developing cow-calf Extension programs.