The folks at the National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS), a division of APHIS Veterinary Services, have released two reports on feedlot management practices from their 2011 surveys. Part I focuses on feedlots with greater than 1,000 head capacity and Part II on those with fewer than 1,000 head.

NAHMS also released several info sheets on specific topics drawn from the full reports.

  • Awareness of the Beef Quality Assurance Program Among Operators of Small Feedlots
  • Injection practices in U.S. feedlots
  • Types and costs of respiratory disease treatment in U.S. feedlots
  • Vaccine usage in U.S. feedlots

We’ll provide more in-depth summaries of the reports over the next few days, but here are a few highlights:

  • More than 70 percent of feedlot operators on feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 head or more believed that pre-arrival processing practices were very or extremely effective in reducing cattle sickness and death loss in feedlots.
  • About 16.2 percent of feedlot cattle are affected with respiratory disease and 87.5 percent of those were treated for BRD. The direct cost of treatment of respiratory disease in feedlot cattle is substantial at $23.60 per case.
  • Approximately half of operators on feedlots with a capacity of fewer than 1,000 head were somewhat familiar or very familiar with the Beef Quality Assurance Program. Among the same group, 29.0 percent were not at all familiar with the program, suggesting an opportunity for improving awareness and expanding BQA training.

The reports and info sheets are available online from NAHMS.