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Wisconsin Ag Connection

Predators Causing Big Losses to Livestock Farmers
USAgNet - 05/18/2006

Cattle and calf losses from animal predators and non-predator causes in the United States totaled 4.05 million head in 2005, USDA's National Agriculture Statistics Service reported.

Cattle and calf losses from animal predators totaled 190,000 head. This represented 4.7 percent of the total losses from all causes and resulted in a loss of $92.7 million to cattle farmers and ranchers. Coyotes and dogs caused the majority of cattle and calf losses accounting for 51.1 percent and 11.5 percent, respectively.

Cattle and calf losses from non-predator causes totaled 3.86 million head or 95.3 percent of the total losses. Respiratory problems were the leading cause of non-predator deaths accounting for 28.7 percent, followed by digestive problems at 16.8 percent.

Farmers and ranchers throughout the United States spent $199.1 million on non-lethal methods to control predators. Use of guard animals was the most common method at 38.0 percent. Exclusion fencing, frequent checking, and culling were the next most commonly used methods of preventing cattle and calf losses at 34.0 percent, 21.8 percent, and 19.6 percent, respectively.

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