Restocking after a drought can be a difficult call: Is the drought really over, and is there enough forage to sustain cattle, what makes the most economic sense?
The answers to these and other questions will be discussed at the Texas AgriLife Extension Service's Ranch Management University scheduled Oct. 29-Nov. 2 at the G. Rollie White Visitor's Center at the Texas A&M University campus in College Station.
"Ranch Management University is an intensive four-day event that targets new or inexperienced ranchers and landowners. It covers the fundamentals of soils and soil fertility, forage establishment, pasture management, and utilization by livestock," says Dr. Larry Redmon, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service state forage specialist. "These are the key elements to surviving a drought and maintaining a ranch program."
Redmon says the workshop is offered twice each year, and the goal is for attendees to walk away with knowledge that will provide economic benefits at the ranch level.
Basic livestock management practices such as castrating, vaccinating and de-horning calves will be demonstrated. Grazing management, stocking rate and body condition scoring also are highlighted during the training, Redmon says. Additionally, several wildlife management topics are covered for those interested in managing white-tailed deer, turkey, feral hogs, and farm ponds.
"Approximately one-half of the workshop involves lectures and discussion, with the remainder consisting of field demonstrations of various how-to methods of soil sampling, sampling hay, and calibrating sprayers," he says.
Bermuda grass and various forage species, such as warm-season perennial grasses, including native forages, small grains, annual ryegrass and clovers are studied by workshop attendees. Additional demonstrations will cover hog trap management and pond fisheries management.
Registration is $500 and attendance is limited to the first 50 people who enroll. To register online and to obtain additional information, please go to http://agriliferegister.tamu.edu and enter "ranch management" as a keyword.