BEEF 2017 highlights beef industry trends

Study looks at cow-calf management practices in the U.S.

June 25, 2020

2 Min Read
cow calf outlook
Farm Progress

In its most recent research study, USDA’s National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) details the many and c management practices in the cow-calf sector. The report, titled Beef Cow-calf Management Practices in the United States 2017, the first report from its latest study of the U.S. beef industry.

Beef 2017 is NAHMS fourth study of the U.S. cow-calf industry. The study was conducted in 24 of the nation’s major cow-calf states and represents 78.9 percent of U.S. cow-calf operations and 86.6 percent of U.S. beef cows.

Here are a few highlights from the Beef 2017 descriptive report:

  • Only 7.8% of calves born in 2017 had horns, indicating the widespread use of polled breeds. For horned calves that were dehorned, the average age at dehorning was 107 days.

  • Overall, 77.3% of operations raised commercial cattle (cattle primarily marketed for consumption); 5.9% raised seedstock cattle only (cattle primarily marketed for breeding purposes); and 16.9% raised a combination of commercial and seedstock cattle.

  • Of heifers bred to calve in 2017, 76.8% were bred only by bulls, and 15.1% were bred by a combination of artificial insemination and bull breeding.

  • Of cows bred for calving in 2017, 92.9% were bred only by bulls, and 5.5% were bred by a combination of artificial insemination and bull breeding.

  • Most producers (83.9%) were very likely to get information from a private veterinarian in the event of a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak or an outbreak of another foreign animal disease in the United States. In addition, most producers (93.8%) would contact a private veterinarian if they had an animal on their operation they suspected of having foot-and-mouth disease or another foreign animal disease.

By knowing who producers will turn to for information during an emergency, responders are able to target the dissemination routes of information critical to the emergency response effort.

Beef Cow-calf Management Practices in the United States, 2017, is available at

Source: USDA, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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