A series of four University of Idaho Extension seminars in October will offer hints for cattle producers who are facing high feed costs and losses of winter range to fire and drought across the south state.
"One of the things that's really concerning producers is the lack of winter range," notes John B. Hall, Nancy M Cummings Research, Extension and Education Center superintendent. UI Extension will conduct Beef Cow Winter Feeding Strategies Seminars in these locations:
Salmon, Oct 23.
Pocatello, Oct. 24
Burley, Oct. 29
Caldwell, Oct. 30
Each session will feature expert beef nutritionists from the Northwest. The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences' new beef nutritionist, Mary Drewnoski, will speak at each seminar.
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. These breakout sessions may include information using crop residues, alternative feeds and nutrition for improved reproduction.
"The dry weather has hurt range productivity this year," says Hill. "In areas where cattle producers use winter range, it will be lacking. Producers are concerned about how they're going to get through the winter with limited feed supplies."
Workshop speakers will focus on helping producers develop methods to use feed more efficiently and economically, says Benton Glaze, Twin Falls-based UI Extension beef specialist. "Winter feed costs represent a major share of their expenses. In drought years, or when range is lost to fire, it is valuable for them to have strategies to efficiently feed their cattle. That's true even in normal years."
Some of the things producers normally use as alternative feeds are extremely high priced and limited in availability because they are being used as substitutes for corn, notes Hall. "Wheat midds, distiller's 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," he explains.