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Friday, February 23, 2024

River Valley Beef Cattle Conference to explore state of hay availability, cattle genetics and more


By Ryan McGeeney
U of A System Division of Agriculture

OZARK, Ark. — Researchers and extension agents with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture will be bringing the latest in cattle production knowledge to interested attendees at the Feb. 20 River Valley Beef Cattle Conference in Ozark.

With cattle markets soaring throughout 2023 and regional drought conditions affecting the availability and quality of hay and other forages, attendees can expect the conference to address topics key to success in 2024.

“I think producers are mostly worried about hay and forage shortages,” said Bob Harper, staff chair for the Logan County Cooperative Extension Service. “They are also worried about high fertilizer and input costs in the coming year. I think most of them would like to try and up inputs this spring and summer in order to try and get back ahead of their hay situation, but they are concerned that high fertilizer prices may prevent that from happening.

In-person registration for the conference will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the conference will conclude at 12:15 p.m. with lunch. The cost is $20, payable at the door.

Presenters will include Jesse Taylor, staff chair for the Johnson County Cooperative Extension Service; Kevin Van Pelt, extension agriculture agent for the Conway County Cooperative Extension Service; Maggie Justice, extension beef cattle specialist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture; Jeremy Powell, professor of animal science for the Division of Agriculture; and Ryan Loy, extension agricultural economist for the Division of Agriculture.

Taylor and Van Pelt will discuss the 2023 hay verification report, which will include the latest findings in verification trials. Justice will discuss understanding expected progeny differences, or EPDs, and genetic tests for cattle breeding. Loy will discuss the input price outlook for 2024.

The conference agenda includes:

  • Registration Introductions & Welcome
  • Welcome from Farm Credit Services
  • Hay Verification report – Jesse Taylor & Kevin Van Pelt
  • Understanding and using EPD’s & Genetic tests – Dr. Maggie Justice
  • Break
  • Input Price Outlook – Dr. Ryan Loy
  • Veterinary/Producers relationship requirements – Dr. Jeremy Powell
  • Live cattle assessment & valuation – Shawn Gattis
  • Lunch

To learn about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit www.uaex.uada.edu. Follow us on X and Instagram at @AR_Extension. To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: https://aaes.uada.edu/. Follow on X at @ArkAgResearch. To learn more about the Division of Agriculture, visit https://uada.edu/. Follow us on X at @AgInArk.

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Tammy Teague
Tammy Teague
Tammy is the heart behind the brand. Her tenacity to curate authentic journalism, supported by a genuine heart is one her many wholesome qualities.
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