The Educational, Performance and Carcass Contest Committee has been making plans for the 33rd Annual Contest. Hosting this year’s contest will be Burwell Feeders, which is located 6 miles north of Burwell, Ne., on Hwy 11. Entry day has been set for Wednesday, November 12. We plan to feed a pen of steers and a pen of heifers. The number of heifers entered the past few years has been declining so the committee has set a minimum of 25 head required in order to feed a pen of heifers this year. We are asking those interested in entering cattle to notify us before October 31 so we can plan for the contest. If you haven’t entered cattle before, we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have. Cattle entered in the contest should be weaned and pre-conditioned. The recommended vaccinations are included in the rules. Contestants may enter as many cattle as they like. The Association retains a percentage of the gross value at the conclusion of the contest. Contestants will also receive a discount on their membership dues, based upon the number of cattle entered. Members can receive a discount of 10% for each calf entered up to 50% of their membership dues. In the past, the discount has been taken at membership renewal time, however, the committee decided to refund the amount of the discount at the conclusion of the contest when contestants receive their final payment. The switch was made in order to make the bookkeeping a bit easier. Once again Lancaster Livestock of Cody, Ne., and Y-Tex will provide the ear tags for the contest cattle. We will send tags out in advance so cattle can be identified prior to delivery to the feed yard. We will also be assisting in making transportation arrangements to get cattle to the feed yard. The contest is an opportunity to gather performance and carcass information as well as a fundraiser for the Sandhills Cattle Association. Contact the SCA office for more information or for a copy of the contest rules. This year’s committee members are: Rob Brawner, Wood Lake, chairman; Neil Jorgenson, Callaway, vice chairman; Craig O’Kief, Wood Lake, vice chairman; Ken Colburn, Valentine; John Wheeler, Wood Lake; Duane Sedlacek, Johnstown.
Cow-calf producers in Nebraska and surrounding states are facing a decision as their pastures recover from several years of drought.
Many producers are considering rebuilding herds that were downsized in response to the drought. But herd expansion carries both high costs and potentially big rewards.
“This is an important time in the industry, as people in cow-calf country will be making important long-term decisions,” said Jim Robb, director and senior agricultural economist at the Livestock Marketing Information Center at Denver.
“It’s apparent in the summer of 2014 that we’re beginning to lay the foundation for herd stabilization and the potential for herd growth back to pre-drought levels,” Robb said. “So what does that mean for the industry and outlook for prices?”
Robb will speak on this topic at the first State of the Beef Conference Nov. 4-5 at North Platte. He said his presentation is intended to help set the stage for a discussion of how the industry’s economic environment might unfold over next few years, both domestic and export demand and, importantly, the supply side.
The conference theme is “Rebuilding the Cow Herd.” It is being organized by University of Nebraska-Lincoln Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Plans are for the State of Beef Conference to be held every other year in Nebraska. It would alternate years with a regional beef conference, the Range Beef Cow Symposium. Information and updates about the State of Beef Conference are available on-line at https://panhandle.unl.edu/state-of-beef-conference. A link at the site has information for potential vendors and sponsors. A registration form can be downloaded from the site, filled out, and mailed with registration fee.