We have assessed the potency of an inactivated oil-adjuvanted rotavirus vaccine in beef herds in Argentina. Two different vaccine trials were conducted. In a small-scale experimental trial, involving 21 pregnant cows (13 vaccinated and eight unvaccinated controls), a significant increase in neutralizing antibody titres against different serotypes of bovine rotaviruses was found in both the colostrum and serum of vaccinated cows compared with that of unvaccinated controls. Seven days after birth, half of the calves born to vaccinated dams or to control cows were challenged with live virulent virus whereas the other half of both groups were left in contact with the infected calves in order to mimic a natural field challenge. Although no statistically significant differences in the rate of protection were observed among the different groups of animals, a larger number of vaccinated calves were protected in comparison with their controls, particularly where animals in contact with infected calves were concerned. Secondly, a large-scale field trial was carried out in 17 beef herds involving a total of 4066 vaccinated pregnant cows. In 11 farms morbidity and mortality in calves from vaccinated cows were compared with historical data from the previous 3 years at the same locations. In the other six herds, control groups were used to compare data of the same year: 1540 cows were vaccinated and 2700 were left as controls. Taking into account the previous and current incidence of diarrhoea, morbidity and mortality were significantly reduced in 16 of the 17 beef herds tested. Vaccine effectiveness was also evident in farms where other enteropathogens such as cryptosporidium and coronaviruses were present, together with rotavirus.