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Whether it’s lack of hay, high feed prices, nitrates in grain hay, etc., there are many challenges facing ranchers as they plan their fall and winter ranch feeding program. The Fall Rancher Roundtable Monday, Sept. 27, in Cut Bank and Tuesday, Sept. 28, in Valier, will address these challenges and provide potential options to stretch the winter feed pile and maintain adequate cowherd performance.  

The Sept. 27 session will be at the Glacier County Library in Cut Bank (21 First Ave. S.E.) and the Sept. 28 session will be at Folklore Coffee in Valier (322 S. Main St). Registration will begin at 12:30 p.m. and the program will run from 1 – 5 p.m. both days with light refreshments provided. There is no charge to attend.  

Dr. Cory Parsons, CHS nutritionist and former livestock operations manager for the MSU Northern Ag Research Center, will discuss winter feed options. Parsons will discuss alternative feeds and supplementation options for the cowherd along with how to best utilize hailed out grain hay and straw in the ration.  

Adriane Good and Kari Lewis, MSU Extension Agents for Pondera and Glacier counties, will cover identifying the cowherd’s nutritional requirements, ways to reduce nutrient requirements and will demonstrate tools to compare feed costs. They will also share information on taking a hay sample, interpreting a feed test analysis, and reducing hay waste to stretch the hay pile.

Larry Gran of Zoetis will cover a new genomic heifer selection tool, INHERIT Select.  INHERIT Select is a comprehensive test for commercial replacement heifers and cows that includes three economic indexes, 16 production trait predictions, percentile rankings for various traits and more to aid in identifying the most valuable females for the cowherd.  A replacement heifer can take four years to breakeven, so earlier identification of the most profitable females saves feed and expenses.  

Lacey Orcutt and Lacy Roberts of the Farm Service Agency (FSA) County will share virtually on current FSA programs and loan opportunities.  There will be information on the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), Emergency Assistance for Livestock Program, (ELAP) and other relevant livestock and drought related programs and loans.  

For more information, please contact Kari Lewis at the Glacier County Extension Office (873-2239 or kari.lewis@montana.edu) or Adriane Good at the Pondera County Extension Office (271-4054 or Adriane.good@montana.edu). 

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