09/19/17 Flexible Stocking Summit Report
The Flexible Stocking Summit brought ranchers together from eastern Wyoming and Colorado, alongside USDA researchers and University Extension professionals. The summit was held at the Semiarid Grasslands Research Center near Nunn, CO, on the USDA-ARS Central Plains Range, and was hosted by the USDA-ARS Rangeland Resources and Systems Research Unit.
Summit participants shared and discussed their experiences using stockers (yearlings) to increase flexibility in their cattle operations. The summit fostered a collaborative approach to identifying successful (and not-so-successful) adaptive strategies for ranchers facing highly variable and uncertain livestock/rangeland management conditions.
Ranchers discussed the benefits and challenges of using stockers as an adaptive strategy for matching animal demand to forage production across wet and dry years. Researchers and Extension professionals wish to learn more from ranchers about what has (and has not) worked well for them when using stockers to increase flexibility.
A 2-page summit report summarizes the discussion points from rancher participants. It also highlights tools and research available to support rancher decision-making under variable weather conditions.