Survey of the cattle health and production record-keeping methods and opinions of cow-calf producers in Mississippi
The objective of this study was to identify characteristics of Mississippi cow-calf producers associated with their use of cattle health record-keeping systems. Anonymous surveys were mailed to 1,275 cow-calf members of the Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association. Multivariable logistic regression using manual forward variable selection was used to test factors for association with cattle health and production record-keeping outcomes. Significance was defined at alpha=0.05. Three-hundred eight surveys (24%) were returned. Of these, 292 (95%) were actively involved in cow-calf production, with 221 (75.7%), 29 (9.9%), and 42 (14.4%) being commercial, seedstock, or both, respectively. Two-hundred nineteen of 290 (75.5%) owned <100 head, and 207 of 292 (70.9%) were >55 years old. Two-hundred forty-five of 289 (84.8%) used individual animal identification. Two-hundred fifteen (73.6%) and 76 (26%) of 292 used hand-written and electronic records, respectively. Using electronic cattle records was associated with computer access (OR=7.6, 95%CI=2.3 to 25.8), smartphone ownership (OR=6.9, 95%CI=2.0 to 23.6), and Bachelor’s degree or higher (OR=2.0, 95%CI=1.1 to 3.7). Producer interest in using a smartphone-based cattle record-keeping system was associated with smartphone ownership (OR=6.0, 95%CI=2.1 to 16.6), and being ≤55 years old (OR=2.9, 95%CI=1.5 to 5.4). Access to technology and producer demographics influence the record-keeping practices of Mississippi cow-calf producers.