Researchers with Alberta Agriculture have conducted a series of trials to measure the effect of fall body condition on feeding costs for pregnant cows through the winter. In each of three years, the researchers weighed and scored the body condition of groups of cows during the fall. They then sorted the cows into three treatment groups based on body-condition scores. They fed the thinnest cows, with an average BCS of 2.3, to gain condition. The moderate group, with an average BCS of 3.0, received a diet intended to maintain condition, and the fattest cows, averaging 3.6 BCS, were fed to lose condition. The researchers formulated each diet to target a BCS of 3.0 at calving. Based on feed costs over the 115-day trial periods from 1997 through 2000, the researchers found that the average value of one body-condition score was $36. They also note that during the more severe winter of 2002/2003, the value of one BCS increased to $58. The researchers concluded that cows entering winter in moderate or fleshy condition can provide a significant economic advantage over thinner cows.