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Four workshops remain on Ranching for Profitability

Dry conditions make ag producers step back and re-evaluate operations.

You’ve always turned out pairs on summer grass, but what if the summer grass didn’t grow? You have made tough decisions and wonder now, with wetter conditions, how you should restock your herd. Weeds in your pasture have exploded- is this normal or noxious?

The annual “Ranching for Profitability” series has four of eight original sessions remaining. UNL Extension specialists will cover topics, with research to back it up. If your area is still experiencing drought, or if you wonder what to do in the next drought, this series will contain useful information.

The flash drought of 2012, coupled with high feed prices, caused many to rethink summer grazing. Putting cows (and pairs) into feedlots with nutritional diets, yet limited intake, became an option. UNL Extension beef specialists Rick Rasby and Karla Jenkins will talk about research results of confinement feeding and also address some of the feed costs involved with doing this under current market conditions. Does it pencil out to feed in a bunk versus a pasture?

Wet conditions after a drought are a perfect opportunity for weedy species to flourish in grasslands. What weeds should you control and which weeds are just a natural part of the pasture? UNL Extension range specialist Jerry Volesky will discuss management of weeds on rangeland and pasture.

Do you wonder what the corn and cattle markets will do? Kate Brooks, UNL Extension ag economist, will discuss current market conditions and outlook. Many herds destocked during the drought and Dr. Brooks will also address the economics of restocking options should drought conditions continue to abate.

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.

Ranching for Profitability schedule (all times are local):

Jan. 13—Broken Bow Country Club, Broken Bow (10 a.m.-2 p.m.), 308-872-6831;

Jan. 13—Community Building, Overton (5-9 p.m.), 308-324-5501;

Jan. 14—Logan County Fair building, Stapleton (10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.), 308-532-2683;

Jan. 14—Kimball Event Center, Kimball (5-9 p.m.), 308-235-3122.

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