It's no surprise that cow herd management improves relative to how dependent producers are on income from their cows. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) collected data on management practices and found cow-calf herds were the primary source of income for 14.0 percent of producers. The NAHMS Beef '97 Study shows cows provide supplemental income for 68.8 percent of producers, and 17.2 percent have cows for some other reason than providing family income. Producers who depend on their cow herd as their primary source of income are more likely to dehorn and castrate calves, provide care during calving season, keep better records and produce more pounds of weaned calf per cow. For information about the NAHMS Beef '97 Study: Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health, USDA: APHIS:VS, attn. NAHMS, 55 South Howes, Fort Collins, Colo. 80521. Telephone: (970) 490-8000. E-mail: or visit the Web site at