A series of four seminars will offer tips for cattle producers who will be confronting higher feed costs and losses of winter range to fire and drought across southern Idaho.
One of the things thats really concerning producers is the lack of winter range, said John B. Hall, superintendent of the Nancy M. Cummings Research, Extension and Education Center near Salmon.
The University of Idaho Extension will conduct Beef Cow Winter Feeding Strategies Seminars in four locations: Salmon, Oct. 23; Pocatello, Oct. 24; Burley, Oct. 29; and Caldwell, Oct. 30.
Each seminar will feature expert beef nutritionists from the Northwest. The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences new beef nutritionist, Mary Drewnoski, will speak at each location.
Tim DelCurto of Oregon State University will be the keynote speaker at Burley and Caldwell. Steve Paisley from the University of Wyoming will present the keynote talk at Salmon and Pocatello.
Breakout sessions are customized for each location by Extension educators and producers. The sessions may include information on using crop residues, alternative feeds and nutrition for improved reproduction.
The dry weather has hurt range productivity this year, Hall said. So in areas where cattle producers use winter range, it will be lacking.
The workshop speakers will focus on helping producers develop ways to use feed more efficiently and economically, said Benton Glaze, an Extension beef specialist in Twin Falls.
Winter feed costs represent a major share of their expenses, Glaze said. In drought years or when range is lost to fire, it is valuable for them to have strategies to efficiently feed their cattle. Thats true even in normal years.
Some of the things we normally use as alternative feeds are extremely high priced or limited in availability because theyre being used as substitutes for corn, Hall said. Wheat midds, distillers grains and corn gluten feed are all things we traditionally can use as supplements with lower quality hays or even straws and do pretty well with feeding that dry, pregnant cow.
Glaze and Hall said cattle producers will learn how to better match their feed rations to their cattles actual needs.
I hope they can walk away knowing how to get their feed analyzed and how to balance the diet for the needs of the cows, or learn how they can seek the help of Extension educators for help in balancing their cows diets, Hall said.
Heifers carrying their first calves or a cow carrying her second have different nutritional needs than a mature cow, because the younger animals are still growing themselves, in addition to supporting calves, Glaze said.
To learn more, contact Kara Kraich, University of Idaho Extension beef quality assurance coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (208) 454-7655.