Last April's freeze and a dry summer not only affected beef producers this year, but could potentially hurt their pocketbooks for years, according to a Purdue University expert. "Many beef producers in Indiana and the eastern part of the United States are facing a short forage supply," says Ron Lemenager, Purdue extension beef specialist. If tight forage supplies make it hard to meet beef-cow nutritional needs, the long-term implications could mean reduced calf vigor and survival, as well as reduced conception rates. "If that happens, then these cows will not be pregnant next fall and that means, in 2009, we're going to see fewer calves," Lemenager says. "There is real potential of having a three-year impact on our profitability."

Purdue University will host a video conference 7-9 p.m. on Nov. 20 to offer beef producers ways to cope with short forage supplies this winter. The free conference will be held at state extension offices. Contact Lemenager at 765-494-4817 or rpl@purdue.edu.