Southern Idaho cattle producers facing higher feed costs after losing winter range to fire and drought can get winter feeding tips at four University of Idaho Extension seminars next month.

Beef Cow Winter Feeding Strategies Seminars will be held in Salmon, Oct. 23; Pocatello, Oct. 24; Burley, Oct. 29, and Caldwell, Oct. 30. University of Idaho Extension will conduct them.

The seminars will feature expert beef nutritionists from the Northwest. The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences’ new beef nutritionist, Mary Drewnoski, will speak at each location.

Tim DelCurto, Oregon State University animal scientist, will be the keynote speaker at Burley and Caldwell. Animal scientist Steve Paisley, University of Wyoming animal scientist, will speak at Salmon and Pocatello.

Customized breakout sessions may include information on using crop residues, alternative feeds and nutrition for improved reproduction.

“The dry weather has hurt range productivity this year,” says John Hall, superintendent of the Nancy M. Cummings Research, Extension and Education Center near Salmon. So cattle producers who use winter range “are concerned about how they’re going to get through the winter with limited feed supplies.”

Workshop speakers will help producers develop ways to use feed more efficiently and economically, says Benton Glaze, Twin Falls-based University of Idaho Extension beef specialist.

“Some of the things we normally use as alternative feeds are extremely high priced or limited in availability because they’re being used as substitutes for corn,” Hall says. “Wheat midds, distiller’s grains and corn gluten feed are all things we traditionally can use as supplements with lower-quality hays or even straws and do pretty well with feeding that dry, pregnant cow.”

Producers will learn how to better match their feed rations to their cattle’s actual needs, Hall and Glaze say.

“I hope they can walk away knowing how to get their feed analyzed and how to balance the diet for the needs of the cows. Or learn how they can seek the help of Extension educators for help in balancing their cows’ diets,” Hall says.

For more information, email or call Kara Kraich, at kkraich@uidaho.edu or 208-454-7655.