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Hemphill County Beef Conference April 24-25 to address drought, environmental conditions

Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Kay Ledbetter drought-cattle
Matching cattle to the environment is a key to ranch efficiency.
"An important part of producing more calves is how well your production practices on the ranch match the cattle to the environment, and how prepared you are for the conditions that Mother Nature throws our way."

As a cattle rancher, knowing when and what resources are available on the land is the key to efficiency. These topics will be addressed at the 2018 Hemphill County-Texas A&M AgriLife Beef Cattle Conference and Ag Tour set for April 24-25.

“This year’s conference is going to be our best ever, as we have gathered 15 nationally recognized speakers and will have a trade show with 50-plus agribusinesses represented,” said Andy Holloway, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agriculture and natural resources agent for Hemphill County.

Holloway said producers from Texas and 10 or more other states are expected to attend to hear experts address industry hot topics. In addition to speakers, attendees will be treated to three beef meals and two ranch tours, as well as a tour of the Hemphill County Pioneer Museum.

The cost is $100 and a spouse ticket is $85. The main conference will be in the Jones Pavilion, 1101 N. Sixth St. in Canadian.

Advance registration is open at Participants can also call the AgriLife Extension office in Hemphill County at 806-323-9114 or contact Christa Perry at [email protected] to register or receive additional information.

The theme this year is “How to produce more calves out of your cowherd,” Holloway said.

“An important part of producing more calves is how well your production practices on the ranch match the cattle to the environment, and how prepared you are for the conditions that Mother Nature throws our way,” Holloway said.

On April 24, a special panel discussion, “Wildfires, How Do We Prepare?” will feature Dr. Morgan Russell, AgriLife Extension range specialist, San Angelo; Adam Isaacs, Hemphill County rancher; and Tiffany Dowell Lashmet, AgriLife Extension agricultural law specialist, Amarillo.

“We added this panel discussion because this year is shaping up to be a dry one, and we know from past experience wildfires can and do happen,” Holloway said. “Dr. Russell is an expert on prescribed burns and she will walk us through the benefits of planning ahead, while Tiffany Lashmet will help us talk through all the legalities involved.”

On April 25, speakers will use local ranches as backdrops for more in-depth discussions on analyzing cattle production from a forage availability standpoint.

Dr. David Lalman, Oklahoma State University Harrington Chair and beef cattle specialist, Stillwater, Oklahoma, will speak at the Rader Ranch near Glazier on “Efficiency and Matching Cattle to the Environment.”

Lalman will emphasize increasing profitability and sustainability, reducing production costs through improved forage utilization, better matching beef cattle genetics to forage resources and evaluating beef production systems and alternatives.

Dr. Tim Steffens, AgriLife Extension rangeland specialist, Canyon, will continue at the Rader Ranch with “Matching My Production Cycles to Forage Quantity and Quality.” He will discuss how the calf crop can be affected by what is growing in the pasture.

When the tour moves to the Haley Ranch, Dr. Ted McCollum, AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist in Amarillo, will present “Dusting off Your Drought Plan.”

“We’ve been without significant moisture for about five months now, and if that doesn’t plant us squarely in a drought, I’m not sure what does,” Holloway said. “Dr. McCollum will help our attendees check off key management practices necessary to help them survive in these extended dry periods.”

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