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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

News Center

Drought Management Seminars Planned for Ranchers

LAS CRUCES -- To help New Mexico ranchers deal with the triple whammy of low precipitation, low cattle prices and high feed prices, New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service is sponsoring five drought management seminars in May.

"The seminars will help ranchers evaluate alternatives for dealing with the drought," said Ron Parker, head of the Extension animal resources department.

Precipitation in New Mexico was 60 to 80 percent below normal for the first four months of 1996. This follows two to three years of severe drought in the state, Parker said.

In addition, the state's cattle growers are facing about a 30 percent decrease in fed cattle prices, and dramatically increasing feed prices, Parker said. "It's a very severe situation for livestock producers," he added.

Parker said the seminars will cover how, under drought conditions, ranchers should evaluate supplemental feeds, evaluate and manage ranges, and manage alternatives for maintaining reproductive performance in cow herds.

Other topics will include the livestock market outlook, discussion of U.S. Department of Agriculture assistance programs, and tax management information for ranchers forced to liquidate all or part of their assets.

Additional topics covering the sheep industry will be presented at meetings in Roswell and Carrizozo.

The regional seminars are scheduled for May 21 at the Red Barn Restaurant in Silver City, May 22 at the Convention Center at the Courthouse Complex in Grants, and May 23 at the Hillcrest Restaurant in Las Vegas. The programs will be repeated on May 28 in Roswell at the Roswell Inn, and on May 29 in Carrizozo in the Commissioner's Meeting Room at the County Courthse. All meetings will be held from 10 a.m. to approximately 4 p.m. All seminars are open to the public.

If you are an individual with a disability who is in need of an auxiliary aid or service to participate in these seminars, please call Parker at 646-1709 or your county Extension office at least seven days before the scheduled meeting.