Cattle Today

Cattle Today



(TOPEKA) – Using canola as a grazing resource for cattle will highlight the topics to be addressed August 21 during a field day at Fletchall Ranch near Beloit. The operation, consisting of a cowherd and a backgrounding and farming business, is owned by Marty and Sharon Fletchall. This will be the second of three ranch management field days presented this year by the Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) and Kansas State University.

Marty Fletchall and John Griffin of Nickerson currently utilize canola as an alternate feeding source. The two will discuss their experiences and answer questions regarding planting rates, expected costs and cattle performance.

The cost of feeding and carrying a beef cow for one year is the most significant expense item for cow-calf producers. Dry-lotting cows or hauling feed while native grass is dormant is considerably more costly than previous years. K-State animal nutritionist KC Olson will provide several suggestions on how producers might be able to reduce input costs, including stretching out the grazing season and matching calving dates with available grazing resources.

K-State beef cattle specialist Dale Blasi and livestock extension specialist Karl Harborth will give a presentation on the opportunities and challenges of using grain processing by-products. Purchasing distiller by-products during the summer, and in bulk, is often the most economical way of securing this feed source. Blasi and Harborth will discuss feed value and storage management of several by-products that can be used to minimize supplementation costs.

Another educational session will focus on the “Locate in 48” program. Premises registration for the National Animal Identification System is a voluntary program, but producers all across the U.S. are helping the industry prepare for an emergency disease outbreak. “Locate in 48” is designed to encourage producers to register their premises, which would allow livestock health officials to conduct more efficient, timely and cost-effective disease traceback. K-State veterinarian Larry Hollis and KLA Stockgrowers Council Executive Committee member Lyman Nuss, Dorrance, will discuss why and how producers should register their premises.

The Beloit field day will begin with registration at 3:30 p.m. and conclude with a free beef dinner at 6:45 p.m. All livestock producers and others involved in the business are invited to attend.

The Fletchall Ranch field day site is located in south central Mitchell County. From Beloit, go south on Highway 14 about nine miles to the S Road and Highway 14 intersection. >From this intersection, go west 6.3 miles. From Lincoln, at the Highway 14 and Highway 18 intersection, go north on Highway 14 about 18 miles. At the S Road and Highway 14 intersection, go west 6.3 miles. Directional signs will be posted.

KLA and K-State also will host ranch management field days August 19 at ML Ranch near Peru and September 26 at Gant-Larson Ranch near Medicine Lodge. Unique aspects of each operation will be incorporated into the educational sessions.

Bayer Animal Health and the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas are sponsoring all three events. For more information, go to or call the KLA office at (785) 273-5115.

KLA is a trade organization representing the business interests of independent beef producers at the state and national levels. Members of the association are involved in all segments of the livestock industry, including cow-calf production, backgrounding, cattle feeding, swine, dairy and sheep.


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