Thursday, November 30, 2023

Beef Cattle Nutrition Focus of UW Extension Workshop



A workshop near Buffalo, Wyo., is for beef cow-calf ranchers who want to boost animal nutrition with well-defined forage supplements to improve animal performance, including conception rates, by matching their operation’s annual cycle to the land.

“Meeting the Nutritional Needs of Range Beef Cattle,” presented by University of Wyoming Extension of Johnson County, is Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 17-18, at the conference center of the TA Guest Ranch 13 miles south of Buffalo on Old Hwy 87.

The cost of $80 for one participant and $50 for additional participants from the same ranch covers breaks and lunches. Course materials include tables to help assess the nutrient needs of cows based on their mature weight.

The workshop is modeled after the late Dick Diven’s low-cost, cow-calf program school, said Blaine Horn, UW Extension rangeland and forage management educator. Horn is leading the workshop with Jim Waggoner, UW Extension range-livestock
nutrition management specialist and associate professor in ecosystem science and management.

“Our aim is to help ranchers appreciate how the land can be the only source of feed energy for their cowherd,” said Horn.

They will learn when during the annual cow-calf cycle the most nutritious feed is required, when range forage is sufficient and how to avoid energy supplementation by working with the cow’s natural ability to store and relinquish fat energy, he said.

Participants will appreciate the phrase “you feed the bugs to feed the cow,” said Horn, referring to protein, energy and mineral needs.

Said Waggoner, “This is a highly interactive workshop, and we hope to provide an exciting and challenging forum in which to learn.”

Hands-on activities and exercises to help stimulate learning and understanding are planned, he said.

Workshop topics include the following:

·         Postpartum interval and length of breeding season; body condition scoring to assess nutrient needs; and understanding cattle growth and development.

·         Beef cows’ energy needs; the net energy maintenance system; energy components of feeds and forages; monthly energy content of rangeland forage and methods of assessment.

·         How to manage weight gain or loss to minimize winter feeding costs.

·         Degradable intake protein and its relationship to net energy maintenance and cow protein needs for maintenance, gestation and lactation.

·         Monthly rangeland forage protein content and how much to supplement when there isn’t enough.

·         Macro- and micromineral needs through the production year; estimating mineral intake from forage; and supplemental sources.

For more information, contact Horn at 307-6847522 or For information on the TA Ranch, see

Source:  University of Wyoming Extension

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