COLUMNISTS

Tri-County drought risk management workshop

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Farm Forum

The Tri-County Ranchers Workshop will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 4, at the SDSU Regional Extension Center in Winner, S.D. Registration will be open at 8:30 a.m. with the program beginning at 9:00 a.m. and concluding about 3:00 p.m. The workshop will include a noon meal and there is no charge. The agenda for the workshop will be very close to the Drought Risk Management Workshop that was originally scheduled to be held here on October 11, but postponed because of the winter storm, Atlas.

An overview of the NUTBAL program and a marketing outlook have been added at the request of the local planning committee, but the majority of the workshop will concentrate on developing a management plan to deal with drought. The statement, “we’re always only 10 days away from a drought” has been repeated countless times in central and western South Dakota, and will continue to be.

There are a number of books and articles investigating the challenges of ranching west of the 100th meridian, and for good reason. The 100th meridian, an invisible line that runs north-south, a few miles east of Presho, S.D., and a few miles west of Winner, S.D., has traditionally been considered the dividing line between the moist eastern half of the United States and the dry western half. This, roughly 20-inch precipitation boundary is considered critically important in agriculture, as those who farm and ranch along or west of it know all too well. With input costs continually rising, and drought an ever present threat, workshops like this can provide important education. Both beginning and veteran producers will find something of value at this event.

Much of the expense for the workshop will be covered by a grant, but the following local sponsors have generously contributed to this effort for several years: Hamill Conservation District, Clearfield-Keyapaha Conservation District, Gregory County Conservation District, American Creek Conservation District, SDSU Extension Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, First Fidelity Bank, Bankwest of Gregory, Winner & Kennebec, and Statewide Ag Insurance.

The SDSU Regional Extension Center in Winner is located at 325 S Monroe St., one block south of the stop light on S.D. Highway 18. For more information, contact us at 842-1267.

Red IRM Calf Record Books

We have a small supply of the popular “IRM Red Books” here at the SDSU Regional Extension Center in Winner. We are handing them out at no cost to cattle producers, one copy per producer until they are gone.