Dry conditions in 2012 and late precipitation in 2013 have Nebraska cattle producers re-evaluating their operations and seeking answers on the following subjects: If the summer grass didn't grow, can pairs be turned out on pasture? With wetter conditions, how should the herd be restocked? Weeds in the pasture have exploded. Is this normal or noxious?
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension experts will address these and other topics during the annual Ranching for Profitability series in January at eight Nebraska locations--O'Neill, Ainsworth, Thedford, Valentine, Broken Bow, Overton, Stapleton and Kimball. Speakers will provide useful, research-backed information for producers who are still experiencing drought or wonder what to do in the next drought.
The flash drought of 2012, coupled with high feed prices, caused many producers to rethink summer grazing. Putting cows and pairs into feedlots with nutritional diets, yet limited intake, became an option. Rick Rasby and Karla Jenkins, UNL Extension beef specialists, will share research results on confinement feeding and address feed costs involved with doing this under current market conditions.
UNL Extension Range Specialist Jerry Volesky will discuss management of weeds on rangeland and pasture.
Kate Brooks, UNL Extension ag economist, will discuss current market conditions and outlook for corn and cattle. Many herds were destocked during the drought, and Brooks will also address the economics of restocking options.
At Thedford, Jim Crandall with UNL Extension will lay out health insurance options for farmers and ranchers. The change in health care may provide opportunities for ranchers who buy individual insurance.
At Ainsworth, Extension Educator Dennis Bauer will discuss ways to balance an operation for protein.
The Ranching for Profitability schedule and contact numbers for registration are:
Jan. 6, O'Neill: Holt County Court House Annex Meeting Room, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; call 402-336-2760.
Jan. 6, Ainsworth: Zion Lutheran Church, 5-9 p.m.; call 402-387-2213.
Jan. 7, Thedford: Brahmer's Steakhouse, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; call 308-645-2267.
Jan. 7, Valentine: Peppermill Restaurant, 5-9 p.m.; call 402-376-1850.
Jan. 13, Broken Bow: Broken Bow Country Club, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; call 308-872-6831.
Jan. 13, Overton: Community Building, 5-9 p.m.; call 308-324-5501.
Jan. 14, Stapleton: Logan County Fair Building, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; call 308-532-2683;
Jan. 14, Kimball: Kimball Event Center, 5-9 p.m.; call 308-235-3122.