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USDA postpones 2020 NAHMS feedlot study

John Moore/Getty Images cattle feedlot
Study hindered by COVID-19 disruptions and precautions.

After consulting with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Assn., the National Agricultural Statistics Service and other industry stakeholders about market disruptions in the beef industry caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) announced July 22 that it will postpone the 2020 U.S. feedlot study until 2021.

USDA said the study's success this year was hindered by the inability to conduct face-to-face interviews in order to protect the health and safety of producers, data providers and data collectors.

The "NAHMS Health Management on U.S. Feedlots 2021" study will be conducted from March through August 2021 and is designed to provide a snapshot of current cattle health and management practices on U.S. feedlots with at least 50 head, USDA explained. Information collected during the study will allow for trend analyses of specific topics related to cattle health, based on previous NAHMS feedlot studies.

In addition, the study will estimate the prevalence of important feedlot cattle diseases, describe antibiotic use and stewardship practices on U.S. feedlots and estimate producers’ overall preparedness for changes to the Veterinary Feed Directive.

USDA said reports published from the "NAHMS Health Management on U.S. Feedlots 2021" study will:

  • Aid in understanding disease-preparedness strengths and vulnerabilities;
  • Help policy-makers and industry stakeholders make informed decisions;
  • Identify research and development needs;
  • Enable economic analyses of the health and productivity of U.S. feedlots;
  • Identify educational needs and opportunities related to the health of feedlot cattle;
  • Provide a benchmark on important feedlot cattle health management practices to inform quality assurance programs, and
  • Provide transparent, credible and independent information on U.S. feedlot practices not collected by the industry itself.
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