Beef producers who are managing a cow-calf herd recognize the importance of staying informed on all aspects of their operation, and a new four-part webinar series from the Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University will help them do just that. It offers three convenient viewing options.
ISU Extension program specialist Beth Reynolds says the Winter Cow Webinar series is intended to provide timely topics for beef cow management and the opportunity for producers to access the information when it’s convenient for them, even if that means they can’t attend a meeting in person. The first session of this series is Dec. 11 and focuses on winter feeding management.
"The weather pattern of 2019 has created several challenges for putting up hay, corn silage and other forage resources in ideal conditions," Reynolds notes. "Producer data from our recent Iowa Beef Center Cow Systems Project shows approximately 40% of total production costs were devoted to stored feed costs. And since we can’t control the markets, focusing on controlling feed costs is very important to the profitability of the beef cow enterprise."
Focus on controlling feed costs
The purpose of improving feed management is to improve costs without sacrificing performance, and the Cow Systems Project manual provides a reference for those costs. Producers interested in learning more can access the Cow Systems Project manual from the ISU Extension Store at store.extension.iastate.edu for more information.
Speakers will share information on assessing feed quality and determining nutritional management strategies of beef cows as cows enter the third trimester of gestation. Garland Dahlke, IBC associate beef cattle scientist, will present "Winter Feed: Considering the Feed Quality Forecast" and Katy Lippolis, assistant professor of animal science at Iowa State, will talk on "Winter Nutritional Management for Beef Cows."
View at home or host site
The webinar is available for viewing at home and at several host sites throughout Iowa. Area ISU Extension beef specialists will be present at the host sites to facilitate further discussion following each webinar. These local discussions may include local feed quality issues and ration needs specific to individual producers.
There is no cost to attend an in-person location or to view the webinar at home, but you are encouraged to preregister for both options. You can register by either calling your preferred host location or completing the online registration form to access information for home viewing. Walk-ins for in-person locations are welcome. Plans are to record each webinar and provide links to those recordings when they're available.
All sessions will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. The webinar dates and topics follow:
- Dec. 11, Winter feeding management
- Jan. 22, Preparing for calving season
- Feb. 18, Market trends, tracking and improving profitability
- March 10, Pasture renovation, forage management