Last year was one for the record books. Many sale barns broke record cattle prices. Mother Nature, as usual, was unpredictable. Input prices also continued to creep upward- forage was no exception.

As a cattle producer, you may have questions about what to do next in 2015. Eight meetings will be held across Nebraska focusing on the changing beef industry. 

“To stock or not to stock?”- that is the question. From buying cows, retaining heifers to breed, or keeping cows longer, can you afford to rebuild your herd. Matt Stockton and Kate Brooks, Nebraska Extension Beef Economists, will discuss “Restocking and Replacing- the Economics of Moving Forward on the Ranch.”

Congratulations, beef producers, you made money this year. High income from cattle and payments from disaster programs may have bumped you up to an unheard-of tax bracket. 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.” Tina will be speaking at Broken Bow, Grand Island, Brady, Mullen, and Valentine.

Forage has become a valuable commodity! With variable weather, forage production can tank and leave you without grass or hay for your cattle. Learn how you can cope with forage losses with risk management programs. 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 your pastures can be from one year to the next. He will present “Managing for Variable Range & Pasture Production.”

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

Ranching for Profitability Schedule (all times are local):

  • January 5th – Holt County Court House Annex Meeting Room, O’Neill (10 am – 2 pm), 402-336-2760;
  • January 5th – Zion Lutheran Church, Ainsworth (5-9 pm), 402-387-2213;
  • January 6th – Broken Bow Country Club, Broken Bow (10 am – 2 pm), 308-872-6831;
  • January 12th – College Park, Grand Island (10 am -2 pm), 308-236-1235; 
  • January 12th – Brady Community Center, Brady (4:30-9 pm), 308-532-2683;
  • January 13th – Bullseye Building, Mullen (10 am -2 pm), 308-645-2267;
  • January 13th– Peppermill Restaurant, Valentine (4-9 pm), 402-376-1850;
  • January 19th – Kimball Event Center, Kimball (5-9 pm), 308-235-3122.