MANHATTAN, Kan. – Many cattle producers are experiencing record returns on their calves this year, but even times of high profitability demand a search for more opportunities to enhance a beef operation. These opportunities will be discussed at the upcoming K-State Beef Conference, hosted Aug. 11-14 in various locations across Kansas.
“We shouldn’t rest while we’re profitable,” said Bob Weaber, cow-calf specialist for K-State Research and Extension and one of the conference presenters. “Certainly, we see a number of opportunities on the horizon for cow-calf producers to expand their profitability, not just in 2014 when we’re expected to have profits, but moving forward as times ahead may become leaner.”
The goal of the conference is for extension professionals to have a conversation with profit-minded cattle producers about different timely and economically impactful production and management topics. This year’s focus is “busting myths that affect your bottom line.”
“We were motivated to the topic by a series of conversations we had at our K-State Winter Ranch Management meetings,” Weaber said. “We kept tally of common questions and myths producers had. We thought it might be useful to provide scientific information that refutes a number of those myths that affect producers’ profitability.”
Joining Weaber at the conference meetings will be K-State Research and Extension specialists Dale Blasi, Jaymelynn Farney, Sandy Johnson, Charlie Lee, Chris Reinhardt, Justin Waggoner and veterinarians from the Kansas Department of Agriculture – Division of Animal Health. A list of the myths the presenters plan to “bust” include:
1. My operation is too small for a planned breeding program.
2. Trichomoniasis is a regulatory problem.
3. Antibiotic restrictions won’t affect me.
4. Record keeping has to be complicated.
5. I don’t need to body condition score my cows.
6. Producers need 1,400-pound cows to make 1,400-pound fed steers.
7. I can change a trait without affecting others.
8. Heterosis isn’t important in today’s beef business.
9. All information in a bull sale catalog is important, and a bull’s actual birth weight is a good selection tool.
10. Any heifer is a replacement.
11. Ionophores (Rumensin or Bovatec) are too expensive to be practical in my operation.
12. The only beef consumer worth focusing on is the one that goes to a white tablecloth restaurant.
13. I don’t need to pay attention to wildlife and endangered species on my property.
The conference will take on a different approach this year compared to past years, Weaber said. Historically, it was a one-day program delivered online, but this year it will be presented in a face-to-face meeting format covering those common myths in cow-calf production followed by a “town hall” style question and answer session.
Hosting locations by date include:
Aug. 11: Tony’s Function Junction, Erie, 5 – 9 p.m.
Aug. 12: El Dorado Livestock Auction, El Dorado, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Aug. 12: 4-H Center at the Pratt County Fairgrounds, Pratt, 5 – 9 p.m.
Aug. 13: Meridian Center, Newton, 5 – 9 p.m.
Aug. 14: The Buffalo Bill Cultural Center, Oakley, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Aug. 14: K-State Salina, Salina, 5 – 9 p.m.
Weaber said the K-State Beef Conference is a popular program primarily focused on information for cow-calf producers, but stocker producers are encouraged to attend as well.
Registration fees and payment forms vary by site, and registrations should be completed with the hosting county or district office by Aug. 4. A meal is included in the registration fee.
For more information see www.ksubeef.org and look for K-State Beef Conference under “Upcoming Beef Events.” The conference brochure (http://www.asi.k-state.edu/species/beef/2014%20Beef%20Conference%20Brochure%20FINAL.pdf) is available online and lists each meeting location, time, and who to contact for more information and to register.