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Conference Name Drought and Post-Drought Tools and Educational Programs for Beef Producers (and Their Lenders)

Damona Doye


Texas and Oklahoma have been experiencing a severe drought, which has resulted in tough choices for many producers. Do they sell cattle or continue to feed them? What can they afford to pay for breeding females when pasture becomes available? The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service and Texas AgriLife Extension are cooperating in updating Excel spreadsheets for producers to use in analyzing alternatives. Spreadsheet tools such as the Cow Repurchase Decision Tool, Early Weaning Decision Aid and Cow Bid Price Estimate Calculator can be downloaded free from beefextension.com and may be valuable to beef producers nationwide at critical times.

Educational programs initially were multidisciplinary to address both production and economic concerns. The spreadsheet tools were used to demonstrate potential outcomes of alternative strategies. Now that many producers have partially or fully liquidated their cowherds, educational programming has shifted to post-drought rebuilding strategies. Should they rebuild slowly with stockers or leasing cows or more quickly by buying cow/calf pairs? OSU enterprise budgets (agecon.okstate.edu/budgets) and Integrated Farm Financial Statements (agecon.okstate.edu/iffs) software are being used to analyze case studies for different forage types and tenure situations. Both financial feasibility and changes in financial position are being projected. Discussion of these cases are a component of educational programs first targeted to Extension educators and now being expanded to agricultural lenders and producers.

An overview of educational programs and an introduction to the spreadsheet tools will be included in the presentation.