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Northwest Iowa Dairy Outlooks

A local discussion of current science and issues concerning dairying in northwest iowa

A multi-county livestock conference will be held at the Bell County Expo Center on Thursday, March 27, 2014. The theme for the day will be “Rebuilding the Beef Herd” and will address many issues related to the current challenges many producers are facing. 20 or more commercial exhibitors will also be there with products and industry information. Pre-registration is $40.00 and is due by March 21 with $50.00 at the door registration. Registration includes the program, refreshments, lunch and 1 CEU for Pesticide Applicator Licenses. Registration will begin from 8:00am-8:30am and the program will conclude by 4:30pm.

This program “Rebuilding the Beef Herd” will focus on rebuilding the breeding cattle inventories within the state. The team of quality presenters will challenge you to look at beef cattle production a little differently as times are changing. Over the past 2 decades there has been a continual decline in cattle numbers in the state. The historic drought of 2011 dramatically accentuated that trend. Other factors like competing land use, economics, drought and financing have all affected the industry. Texas cattle industry and affiliated trade and service companies are the second largest economic driver in the state.
Program overview:

Beef– Better (and Different) Times Ahead – Dr. Jason Banta

Demand vs. supply is shedding bright light on beef’s future, but most agree the future will be significantly different than even the recent past. Relatively recent changes in grain and land use, ever-increasing input costs and marginal profits could shape demographics in the beef industry for the next two decades. Here’s a review that puts them all in perspective.

Forage Recovery & Pasture Restocking – Dr. Larry Redmon When it rains, drought-stricken warm-season forages must be allowed to rebound either from root reserves or seed while resource managers begin to restock with cattle. Flexibility has been and will continue to be an essential element. This discussion will focus on the art and science of balancing grazing pressure and forage supply.

Evaluating Replacement Options – Dr. Jason Banta What type of cow best fits the new production paradigm(s)? In this review of critical considerations like mature size, environmental adaptability and market acceptance, cattlemen may find answers to questions such as: “What might I buy?”, “Can I find them?” and “How concerned should I be about health issues?”.


Can a $2500 Cow Breakeven? – Dr. David Anderson Sure, relative to drought-forced liquidation prices, replacement females will be more expensive. “How high is too high?” you ask. This session will build from the morning’s opening presentation and lead participants through an in-depth look at determining a reasonable price and the financial requirements for purchasing breeding females.

Flexibility in Resource Use – Dr. Jason Banta Natural resource stewards realize production conditions change, forage supply is not constant and animal inventory needs some ’flex’ built in. Continuing on from the morning’s last discussion, here’s a detailed look at resource inventory and replacement female options and how to strategically build flexibility into your operation.

Leased Grazing—What, Why and How – Tiffany Dowell Every longstanding grazing lease involves a content lessor and successful lessee; that relationship has several key elements- resource inventory, lease expectations, structure, arrangement, tenure and documentation. Looking for country or cattle to graze grass you own? Then you’ll want to sit in on this session.

Adjourn 4:30pm



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