Beef meetings to provide strategies to move forward from drought

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Northwest Iowa cold-calf and feedlot operators dealing with drought-related issues will find helpful suggestions on moving forward by attending one of four winter sessions.

The Drought: "A Game Changer for Beef Operations" is the theme of the programs set for Le Mars, Storm Lake, Estherville and Castana under sponsorship of the Iowa Beef Center and Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach.

Beth Doran, beef program specialists, ISU Extension and Outreach said managing feed costs and alternative feeds for fall and winter feeding cows and feedlot animals will be among the discussion topics.

"Developing feeding programs that utilize available feeds and keep feed costs in check is the goal," Doran said. We also recognize, however, that nitrate issues and low-quality corn silage in some cases may dictate supplemental feeding.

"With high-priced corn, producers are searching for ways to reduce corn use and still maintain performance," Doran said. "Chemical treatment of lower quality forages, such as cornstalks, is a possible strategy to enhance a lower quality feed and will be a part of the meeting discussion. "

Additional workshop presentations include a recorded update on the economic situation and price outlook by Lee Schulz, livestock economist, ISU Extension and Outreach, and weather forecast by Dr. Elwynn Taylor, ISU extension climatologist.

The meetings will close highlighting an upcoming December webinar featuring factors to consider and planning for 2013 and beyond.

Additional mid-winter meetings will feature topics relative to weather including pasture improvement, economic conditions and new-year cattle inventory.

Producers wanting to participate in any of the sessions with a $10 payable at the door registration are asked to call ahead to register. Numbers to call are included below in parenthesis.

Meeting sites include: Nov. 14 - NorthStar Bank, Estherville -1:30 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. (712-362-3434); Nov. 15 - Plymouth County Extension office, Le Mars - 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.(712-546-7835); Nov. 19 - ISU Demonstration and Research Farm, Castana -1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (712-423-2175) and Nov. 20 - Buena Vista County Extension office, Storm Lake - 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.(712-732-5056 or 712-225-6196)