USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has released its Cattle and Calves Non-Predator Death Loss in the U.S., 2010 report. Produced by APHIS’s National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS), the report provides a breakdown of cattle and calf death losses in 2009 for all causes by size group and by region, with special emphasis on non-predator (NP) causes. Funding for the study is provided every five years. Where possible, comparisons were made to death losses reported in 1991, 1995, 2000 and 2005. Here are a few highlights:

• During 2010, NP causes accounted for 97.7% of the 1.7 million cattle death losses. Overall, 2.3% of the U.S. cattle inventory was lost to NP causes, ranging from 1.5 % in the Northwest region to 2.8% in the South Central region.

• The percentage of total losses due to NP causes was smaller on beef operations compared with other operation types. NP causes accounted for 95.8% of total cattle losses on beef operations in 2010, and 99% of total losses on other operation types.

• Respiratory problems accounted for the highest percentage of NP cattle losses in 2010 (26.5% of total NP cattle losses). “Other” causes accounted for 13.8%, while unknown causes constituted 12.1%. Weather-related causes and calving problems each accounted for about 10% of losses.

• The percentage of losses due to mastitis was higher on dairy than beef operations (13.1 and 0.3%, respectively). Mastitis also accounted for 8.6% of losses on mixed operations. Respiratory problems accounted for over half of NP losses (64.3%) on “other” operations; many operations in this category were feedlots, which commonly experience problems with bovine respiratory disease.

• NP causes accounted for 92.0% of the 2.3 million calf death losses in 2010. Overall, 5.8% of the U.S. calf crop was lost to NP causes, with losses highest in the Northeast region (7.6% of the calf crop).

• The highest percentages of NP calf losses were due to respiratory (29.1%) and digestive problems (17.2 %). Respiratory problems accounted for nearly half of NP calf losses (49.4%) on “other” operations.

• Beef operations had a higher percentage of NP calf losses due to weather-related causes (21.9%), compared with all other operation types: 4.2% for dairy operations, 8.6% for mixed operations, and 6% for “other” operations.

• Beef operations had a lower percentage of NP calf losses due to digestive problems (10.4%) than all other operation types: 30.6% for dairy operations, 30.4% for mixed operations, and 23.2% for “other” operations.

• On mixed operations, the percentage of NP calf losses due to calving problems ranged from 38.4% in the Northwest region to 5.0% in the Southwest region. The Southwest also had a lower percentage of calf losses due to calving problems on beef operations compared with other regions.

Cattle and Calves Non-Predator Death Loss in the U.S., 2010 is available at http://nahms.aphis.usda.gov.