Cattle feeders face many challenges in day-to-day operations.  Volatility in grain and cattle markets create uncertainty in purchasing and marketing capacities.   Wisconsin cattle feeders who are seeking information on marketing cattle at the right time or are interested in improving their cattle housing and feeding facilities should attend this year’s cattle feedlot design and management options meeting.  The meeting will be hosted at the Portage County Annex Building February 27.  Registration will be at 9 am and the program will start at 9:30 am.

Many retired dairy farmers and cattle feeders are using existing facilities to raise and feed out steers. As these farm continue to grow the cattle business, additional housing and feeding systems may be needed.

David W. Kammel, Professor at UW-Madison and Livestock Housing Specialist will discuss how farms are using current facilities in a feeding operation.  He will also present design options for new facilities including drive by feed platforms, windbreaks, bedded areas, dirt lots, cattle mounds, covered barnyards, and steer feeding barns.

Runoff and utilizing nutrients from beef feedlots should be a managed process.  Steve Bradley, Portage County Land Conservationist, and Kevin Halverson, Soil Conservation Technician with Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) will discuss management of manure runoff and improving utilization of manure nutrients.  They will also provide information regarding available technical and financial assistance for these methods through the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Land Conservation Division (LCD) of Portage County.

At what point is it no longer profitable to continue to feed heavy cattle, and is best to send them to market?  Mitch Schaefer, UW PhD graduate student, will present information on how to use feed intake, growth models and current prices to determine when it makes the most sense to market fed Holsteins and beef cattle.

How important is keeping animals clean on profitability?  Lyssa Seefeldt, Marquette County UW-Extension agriculture agent will discuss how keeping animals bedded, clean and dry impacts both feedlot performance and carcass quality.

There is a $15 fee to cover lunch and handouts.  Pre-registration is required by contacting the Portage County UW-Extension office at 715-346-1316 by February 20.  Registrations made after February 20 will be charged $20.  The registration brochure can be found here: Portage County Feedlot Design and Management Workshop borchure.