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Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

USDA-NASS contacting Oklahoma cow-calf operators about recent survey

STILLWATER, Oklahoma – Cattle producers who recently received the Oklahoma State University Cow-Calf Survey from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will be receiving a call from NASS if they have not already completed it and turned it in.
USDA-NASS contacting Oklahoma cow-calf operators about recent survey

Time for Oklahoma cow-calf producers to be counted. Survey of extreme importance to understanding their segment of the cattle industry. (Photo by Todd Johnson)

“Nobody really likes filling out a survey but this one is pretty important in regards to what it means to Oklahoma’s cattle industry,” said Derrell Peel, OSU Cooperative Extension livestock marketing specialist. “Its technical name is the Oklahoma Beef Management and Marketing Survey. If you’re a producer, please don’t throw it away. Fill it out and return it as directed.”

Oklahoma ranks fifth nationally in total number of cattle and calves produced, according to NASS data. The state also ranks fourth nationally in the number of cows and third nationally in terms of calves produced.

The first edition of the Oklahoma Beef Management and Marketing Survey went out in 2009 and early 2010. Its primary focus was on gathering needed data about calf management practices that were being implemented on cow-calf operations. The current survey contains questions of equal importance.

“It’s vital we know what cow-calf producers are doing as well as constraints, real or perceived, that may be preventing them from implementing research-based best management practices,” said Kellie Raper, OSU Cooperative Extension livestock marketing economist. “It might be a case of available resources. It might be a perception that the market is not paying them enough to invest in the research-based recommendations.”

For OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources – responsible for the university’s two state agencies: the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station system and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service – the importance of such knowledge is obvious to meeting the land-grant mission relative to state cattle producers and related agribusinesses.

“Our responsibility as a land-grant institution is to conduct research and then develop what we’ve found into practical Extension programs that help Oklahomans solve issues of importance to them, their families and their communities,” Raper said. “Producers individually have different time constraints and differing specific aspects of their operations. But if there are things that cut across most lines then us knowing them helps DASNR maximize our research and Extension resources into those areas. This helps a public land-grant institution like OSU give Oklahomans the biggest bang for their buck.”

Raper and Peel also teamed with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in sending out NASS surveys this past summer to Oklahoma stocker producers.

The survey was designed to not only provide detailed information to help researchers and industry analysts understand the vital economic role of the stocker industry but to provide insight into such things as the disease threats associated with animal movement into and out of the cattle production system.

“Surveys have been returned and we are currently entering data,” Raper said. “Hopefully, we will have the survey results finalized and available for public viewing sometime in the spring. Stocker calves are everywhere so we’ve always known stocker production has a significant effect on the industry, but that is about it. This survey will tell us a lot.”

The most recently available data through NASS indicates cash receipts for Oklahoma cattle averaged more than $3.7 billion annually for the five-year 2011 through 2015 period.

“We’re excited about the possibilities data from these surveys will open up for us to understand and provide help and insight for Oklahoma cattle producers,” Peel said. “We’re very grateful to producers who take the time to provide this information. It really does make a difference.”

The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service and statewide Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station system are two of the three equal parts in OSU’s state and federally mandated teaching, research and Extension land-grant mission.


Donald Stotts
DASNR News and Media Relations
Agricultural Communications Services
132 Agriculture North
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 405-744-4079
Fax: 405-744-5739

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, OK 74078