Managing Drought Workshop Planned For Dec. 11 & 12

Set for Wray, CO, program will provide beef cattle ranchers with the tools to better manage for drought. Registration is free but pre-registration by Dec. 5 is required.

Ranchers, what would you give to know 30, 40 or 60 days ahead of time that your livestock herd was going to run out of grass? Would you give 1½ days of your time?

The Yuma County, CO, Conservation District and the Natural Resources Conservation Service are sponsoring a comprehensive Managing Drought Workshop series in Wray, CO, Dec. 11 & 12.

The series begins the afternoon of Dec. 11, with a separate session that evening, followed by another on Wednesday. Ranchers may attend any or all of the sections. Registration is free, but pre-registration by Dec. 5 is required.

  • The Dec. 11 afternoon session will be held in the Wray City Hall and will focus on the thought processes of drought and the Calf_Cost_Cow-Q-lator spreadsheet. This spreadsheet predicts profit (or loss) given certain conditions. Some of these variables include hay prices, amount of hay fed, calf weaning size, calf prices, and many more variable that only a computer can crunch. Attendees will go through the worksheet and fill in the best and worst case prices and conditions. The spreadsheet, which is free and available on the Web, then provides the profit estimate rangeusing those parameters.
  • After a free dinner, the workshop series continues with an introduction to various web resources at the USDA Service Center in Wray. Attendees will have hands on opportunity with each of the websites.
  • On Dec. 12, the program moves back to Wray City Hall for a session on drought indicators, plant drought response, and drought planning. Attendees will be able to answer critical questions on moisture requirements, stocking rate and timing. The session is designed to empower attendees to devise a drought plan for their ranch. The Wednesday workshop begins at 9 a.m. and adjourns by 3:30 p.m.     

For more information, visit or email [email protected]. You can also call 970-332-3173, Ext. 3, between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m.MST, or call anytime to leave a message. 

From Julie Elliott, NRCS rangeland management specialist