Calving season is just a few months away for some producers, so this is a good time to evaluate cow condition and develop winter- feeding programs, according to North Dakota State University Extension livestock specialists. “More than 90% of North Dakota is experiencing moderate to severe drought,” says Janna Block, Extension livestock systems specialist based at NDSU’s Hettinger Research Extension Center. “Depending on the timing, duration and intensity of the drought at various locations across the state, this could have resulted in reduced forage quality and production as well as cow and calf performance.”
Some producers have below-average hay supplies on hand and need to evaluate options for winter- feeding programs. This can result in extended grazing in an already limited forage situation, which can have long-term impacts on range and pasture health. Other producers may have noted decreased weaning weights or a reduction in pregnancy rates.
NDSU Extension specialists are planning a two-part webinar series titled “Can Your System Sustain the Ranch?” to address these issues. This series will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, Nov. 24, and Tuesday, Dec. 1, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Central time.
The first webinar will feature Gerry Stokka, NDSU Extension veterinarian and livestock stewardship specialist, and Lisa Pederson, NDSU Extension livestock specialist at NDSU’s Central Grasslands Research Extension Center (CGREC) and Beef Quality Assurance program director. Their presentations and discussion will focus on investigating and developing options to address low pregnancy rates and utilizing genetic selection to meet production goals within a defined set of resources.
The second webinar will include Block discussing how to evaluate supplementation options and cow performance, along with winter nutritional management. Miranda Meehan, NDSU Extension environmental stewardship specialist, and Kevin Sedivec, NDSU rangeland management specialist and interim director at the CGREC, will present information about pasture management, including managing grazing during drought.
The webinars are free and open to the public, and will be recorded for later access. Visit the NDSU Extension Livestock website at https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/livestockextension/can-your-systemsustain-the-ranch-series-fall-2020 to register.