Submitted to: Oregon Beef Producer
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/10/2005
Publication Date: 1/1/2006
Citation: Bohnert, D.W., Angell, R.F. 2006. A Survey of Cow-calf Producers in Oregon and Nevada - Production Practices. Oregon Beef Producer. 2006(1):26-28.
Interpretive Summary: Information describing the current ranching industry in Oregon is lacking. This information is needed to better understand the beef cattle industry and to provide insight on needed educational programs. To obtain this information, a 22 question survey was developed which asked about cow management, profitability, bull management and heifer replacement programs. The survey was mailed to 2090 members of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association in the fall of 2004. Surveys were returned by 371 members. Approximately half of the responses were from eastern Oregon. Most of the ranchers employ spring calving (68%), with only 6% claiming a fall calving management style. Most (61%) of the respondents indicated that calves weaned at 551 lb or heavier. Briefly, 42% of respondents don’t do any form of testing while 25% have complete breeding soundness exams performed. Only 4% of cow-calf producers test for trichomoniasis and 13% have semen tests conducted. This study provides new insight into the state of the ranching industry in Oregon, and will be of value to research and extension personnel as they design research and educational programs to address the needs of the Oregon ranching industry.
Technical Abstract: In 2004 we developed a survey and sent it to cow-calf producers throughout Oregon. The survey posed 22 questions related to cow management, female replacement programs, bull management, and annual cow-herd economics. The survey was mailed to the 2,090 members of the Oregon Cattleman’s Association mailing list and included a postage-paid return form that allowed the survey respondents to mail the completed surveys back at no cost and in complete anonymity. On March 1, 2005, 371 surveys had been returned and information from each response was entered into a Microsoft® Access 2002 (Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, Washington) database to facilitate data summary and analysis. The survey listed western, central or eastern Oregon as location choices. If no response was given we placed the survey in a “general” category. The location of their operation was listed as western, central, eastern and general by 24, 16, 57, and 2% of respondents, respectively. The two most frequently listed calf weaning weights were over 600 lb and 551-600 lb, which were selected by 31 and 30% of cow-calf producers, respectively. The two most frequently listed calf weaning weights were over 600 lb and 551-600 lb, which were selected by 31 and 30% of cow-calf producers, respectively. The most common cow culling rate was 0-10% which was noted 46% of the time followed by 10-15% which was listed by 26% of respondents. Spring calving was listed by 68% of producers and fall calving was selected by 6% of respondents. Interestingly, 21% stated that they had both spring and fall calving cows. About 5% of producers did not respond. This study obtained new information on ranching practices and will be used to facilitate development of new extension and teaching programs for Oregon ranchers.