Ranching for Profitability meeting series set for Jan. 12-15 at various Nebraska locations | TheFencePost.com
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Ranching for Profitability meeting series set for Jan. 12-15 at various Nebraska locations

LINCOLN, Neb. – Ranchers can learn more about current issues and topics important to ranch management and beef production when the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension hosts the popular Ranching for Profitability meeting series across western and central Nebraska January 12-15.

Meeting dates, locations and times:

– Jan. 12: O’Neill, Blarney Stone Restaurant, 10:30 a.m. CT

– Jan. 12: Ainsworth, Elks Lodge, 5 p.m. CT

– Jan. 13: Broken Bow, Broken Bow Country Club, 10:30 a.m. CT

– Jan. 13: Elm Creek, Community Center, 5 p.m. CT

– Jan. 14: Stapleton, Logan County Fair Building, 10:30 a.m. CT

– Jan. 14: Valentine, Cedar Canyon Steakhouse, 4:30 p.m. CT

– Jan. 15: Kimball, Event Center, noon MT

Pre-registration is requested no later than a week prior to each meeting, at the Extension county office hosting the meeting, in order to get a meal count. Registration fee is $15. Contacts include: O’Neill (402) 336-2760, Ainsworth (402) 387-2213, Broken Bow (308) 872-6831, Elm Creek (308) 324-5501, Stapleton (800) 657-2113, Valentine (402) 376-1850, and Kimball (308) 235-3122.

Calving difficulty contributes heavily to production losses in cow/calf herds. Obvious losses are due to calves or cows that die at or soon after calving, while less noticeable losses are due to delayed rebreeding, more open females, an extended calving season, and increased labor costs. Dr. Richard Randle, UNL Extension Veterinarian, will review pre- and post-calving management practices to minimize effects of calving difficulty and tips on assisting the cow with calving difficulty.

Seven dollar corn to three dollar corn! Four dollar diesel! The markets’ volatility significantly changes the profitability of backgrounding and finishing cattle and retained ownership strategies for ranchers. Dr. Darrell Mark, UNL Extension Ag Economist, and Rebecca Small, with the UNL Ag Econ department, will focus on the relative differences in profits to calf finishing and yearling finishing systems as input prices change, as well as risk management and hedging strategies for these systems.

Ranchers may be wondering how to cut rising mineral costs. Dennis Bauer, UNL Extension Educator from Brown, Rock, and Keya Paha counties, will talk about how to balance mineral needs with cattle diets. Knowing what minerals are in feeds allows ranchers to add or remove minerals according to the nutrient requirements of cattle. Bauer has helped numerous ranchers develop lower cost custom mineral programs.

Several UNL Extension computer tools are available to help producers make management decisions. These tools can help ranchers compare the cost of total digestible nutrients and crude protein in different feeds while considering transportation and feed waste, balance feed rations, calculate an equitable share arrangement for leasing cows, calculate break-evens for feeders or cull cows, estimate cost of developing water sources in pastures, and grazing spreadsheets. What to use these tools for and where to find them will also be covered.

Most ranchers develop grazing plans for their pastures. But how many have done so for their meadows? Dr. Jerry Volesky, UNL Range Specialist from the West Central Research and Extension Center at North Platte, will be on hand at the meetings at Valentine and Kimball to present information on subirrigated meadow management, including grazing potential and weed control. Additionally, the high cost of fertilizer is important for producers who fertilize to increase hay production. Efficient practices for fertilizer application as well as potential legumes for interseeding into meadows will be discussed.


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