Neb: Ranching for profitability meetings | TSLN.com

Neb: Ranching for profitability meetings

The changing beef industry will be the focus of Nebraska Extension's annual "Ranching for Profitability" meetings in January at eight sites around Nebraska: O'Neill, Ainsworth, Broken Bow, Grand Island, Brady, Mullen, Valentine and Kimball.

Last year was one for the record books. Many sale barns broke record cattle prices. Mother Nature was unpredictable. Input prices also continued to creep upward, and forage was no exception. Cattle producers may have questions about what to do next in 2015. The meeting agendas will include these speakers and topics:

"To stock or not to stock?" That is the question. Buying cows, retaining heifers to breed, or keeping cows longer, are some of the options. Matt Stockton and Kate Brooks, Nebraska Extension Beef Economists, will discuss "Restocking and Replacing – the Economics of Moving Forward on the Ranch."

High income from cattle and payments from disaster programs may have bumped producers to higher tax brackets. Tina Barrett, Director of the Nebraska Farm Business Inc., will talk about planning options for these high income years. She will recommend some ways to reduce taxes, but also notes, "Making money and paying taxes isn't always a bad thing." She will be speaking at Broken Bow, Grand Island, Brady, Mullen, and Valentine.

Forage has become a valuable commodity, but with variable weather, forage production can tank and leave a producer without grass or hay. Rick management programs can help cope with forage losses. Aaron Berger and Monte Vandeveer, Nebraska Extension Educators, will discuss the kinds, costs, and how these forage programs work, including PRF and LFP.

Jerry Volesky, Nebraska Extension Range Specialist, has been through drought, hail, excessive rains, and blizzards. Volesky understands how variable the production of pastures can be from one year to the next. He will present "Managing for Variable Range & Pasture Production."

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Register one week prior for a meal count at the local extension office. Cost is $15 per person. Sponsorship is provided by the North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center, the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and Nebraska Extension.

Ranching for Profitability Schedule, with date, location, and phone number for registration. All times are local:

Jan. 5, O'Neill: Holt County Court House Annex Meeting Room, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., 402-336-2760

Jan. 5, Ainsworth: Zion Lutheran Church, 5-9 p.m., 402-387-2213

Jan. 6, Broken Bow: Broken Bow Country Club, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., 308-872-6831

Jan. 12, Grand Island: College Park, 10 a.m. -2 p.m., 308-236-1235

Jan. 12, Brady: Brady Community Center, 4:30-9 p.m., 308-532-2683

Jan. 13, Mullen: Bullseye Building, 10 a.m. -2 p.m., 308-645-2267

Jan. 13, Valentine: Peppermill Restaurant, 4-9 p.m., 402-376-1850

Jan. 19, Kimball: Kimball Event Center, 5-9 p.m., 308-235-3122.

–UNL Extension