Topic of the next cow and calf risk management show

K-State Research and Extension recognizes the uncertainty faced by farmers and ranchers due to fluctuating livestock and input prices. More than ever, operational risk management is critical to long-term sustainability.

Jenny Ifft says successful cow-calf farmers are “risk experts. They face multiple sources of risk every day,” said Ifft, agricultural policy specialist at K-State Research and Extension. “Forage production can vary greatly depending on the timing or amount of rain. If the market crashes the month before selling their herd, a producer’s profit could be wiped out.

LaVell Winsor, agricultural analyst with K-State’s agricultural economics department, said some of the topics discussed Feb. 23 include business budgeting, livestock marketing and cow-calf insurance options.

“It’s important for breeders to understand their cost structure because there is a wide range of production costs,” Winsor said. “Marketing is still essential, but with high feed costs (currently), it is especially important for cattle producers to watch for opportunities to make a profit.”

Ifft said cow-calf producers can also be strategic when considering insurance options. She notes that half of Kansas is currently facing a moderate drought and feed prices are volatile.

“Insurance products are available to help producers manage forage risk and price risk by providing payments when a producer’s local area is abnormally dry and when livestock prices are lower than expected” , she said.

This cow and calf risk management workshop is led by K State agricultural economists with 28 county and district extension offices across the state. It will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 23. The Cottonwood Extension District in Hays and Great Bend will host this workshop. In Hays it will be held in the Cottonwood District Meeting Room, 601 Main Street and in Great Bend in their office meeting room, 3007 10th Street.

This session is part of the Risk Management Series for Kansas Women in Agriculture, but can be taken individually. This program is open to anyone interested in participating.

$15 registration fee, payable at local location that evening for print materials and meal. Registration is requested at or call either Hays office at 785-628-9430, Great Bend 620-793-1910.

Stacy Campbell is the Agriculture and Natural Resources Officer for the Cottonwood Extension District. Email him at or call Hays’ office at 785-628-9430.

Jessica C. Bell