After some tough drought-influenced years, cattlemen looking to return to efficient production should attend the Cattle Trails Cow-Calf Conference set Dec. 3 in Wichita Falls, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialist.

“Ranchers in north Texas and southern Oklahoma have experienced highs and lows in 2015, but the one thing that they didn’t have to worry about was a severe drought that appears to have ended in 2014,” said Stan Bevers, AgriLife Extension economist in Vernon.

“Record rainfall in May filled tanks and lakes and caused rivers and creeks to run again,” Bevers said. “Grass was abundant as a result of the rainfall. Cattle prices remained high through August. Since August, ranchers have come to the realization that calf prices can and will move lower, probably for the next several years.”

Industry experts are recommending that ranchers become as efficient productively and financially as possible to operate in the coming years, he said.

Becoming as efficient as possible is the focus for this year’s Cattle Trails Cow-Calf Conference, Bevers said. Each speaker will address how ranchers can achieve efficient levels of production and financial success while minimizing risk.

The slogan of the annual conference is “driving your operation to profits,” however Bevers said the last few drought-influenced years have made it pretty tough.

“Returning to efficient production will require a new level of understanding and pencil pushing,” he said.

The conference, which alternates between Texas and Oklahoma each year, will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the MPEC Center, 1000 5th St. in Wichita Falls.

Registration is $25 per person and includes educational materials, a copy of the Cattle Trails Cow-Calf Conference materials, a noon meal and refreshments. Additional information can be found at http://agrisk.tamu.edu.

Producers are asked to preregister by contacting their local AgriLife Extension county agent, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension county educator or Allison Ha at 940-552-9941, extension 225 or by email atallison.ha@ag.tamu.edu.

The program will include the following speakers and topics:

– Bevers, targets for key performance activities of ranchers, including productivity levels to achieve as well as expense levels to minimize.

– Dr. Ron Gill, AgriLife Extension livestock specialist from College Station, balancing safety, cattle movements and cost in designing corrals and cattle processing areas.

– Dr. Derrell Peel, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service livestock economist in Stillwater, Oklahoma, an overall report on and forecast of the cattle and beef markets.

– Dr. Dave Lalman, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension beef cattle specialist in Stillwater, Oklahoma, efficient use of supplements in the cow herd.

– Dr. Twain Butler, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation forage research agronomist, Ardmore, Oklahoma, appropriate forage systems for the southern Great Plains area.

– Dr. Tiffany Dowell-Lashmet, AgriLife Extension agricultural law specialist in Amarillo, factors that every landowner should know about grazing leases.

“Ranchers are ready to get back to being ranchers,” Bevers said. “Producing cattle as efficiently as possible will contribute to their overall financial success.”
Industry sponsors also will have their products on display during the event.