Record high calf prices and projected cow-calf profitability have many producers considering expansion. Selecting, feeding and breeding the right replacement heifers could have a large impact on future profits.
With that in mind, the 2015 K-State Winter Ranch Management series of meetings will focus on best management practices for developing replacement heifers. The meetings will also feature the popular ‘town-hall’ style—a two-way verbal exchange—between Kansas’ cattle producers and extension specialists. The series is set to kick off in January.
The Winter Ranch Management series has a history of being a successful stretch of meetings, which are hosted throughout the state of Kansas, said Bob Weaber, beef breeding, genetics and cow-calf specialist for K-State Research and Extension. Weaber, along with other state, district and local extension staff, will take part in the series to help answer producers’ questions about replacement heifer development and a wide range of beef cattle issues surrounding animal health, nutrition, management, genetics and reproduction.
“Over the past few months we’ve received quite a few questions from producers regarding heifer development,” Weaber said. “The Winter Ranch Management series provides a great opportunity for us as state specialists to take our expertise out in the country for face-to-face meetings. We plan to provide educational content on a wide range of issues related to heifer development including a market outlook, heifer selection, nutrition, target development weights, breeding and estrus synchronization, and some background on the Sunflower Supreme Replacement Heifer Program.”
Weaber said producers should come to the meetings prepared with questions. Some of the hot topics he foresees discussing in addition to heifer development include drought management and recovery, winter feeding and cow management, preparation for calving season, and, as the bull buying season approaches, selection and genetics issues.
“January is always a great time for producers, when the weather is bad and after they get chores done, to sit back, think and plan for the year, including the calves that will be born in the spring and how they might manage those,” he said. “Certainly it is a good time of year to think about business strategy opportunities moving forward in terms of expansion.”
One of the locations for the Winter Ranch Management series is in La Crosse at the La Crosse Livestock Market from 5 to 8:30 pm. on Tuesday, January 6th. The cost is $5 per person, and you can register by calling either the Barton County Extension at 620-793-1910, Ellis County Extension at 785-628-9430 or Walnut Creek District at 785-222-2710. We hope to see you all there!
Alicia Boor is the Agriculture and Natural Resources agent for Barton County K-state Research and Extension. One can contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 620-793-1910