SIOUX CENTER, Iowa — Cattle feeders and agribusiness professionals are invited to attend Feedlot Forum 2014, a day-long program from 9:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Jan. 21 at the Terrace View Event Center in Sioux Center.

The forum features educational components on timely issues affecting northwest Iowa feedlot producers and a trade show displaying new products in animal health, beef nutrition and facilities.  

“This year’s forum focuses on current feedlot issues — environmental regulations, cattle lameness and marketing — that are key in every Iowa feedlot,” said Beth Doran, beef program specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Ken Hessenius, supervisor for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Field Office 3, will discuss small-, medium- and large-concentrated animal feeding operation inspections.

The IDNR will be operating under a revised protocol that may include a desktop assessment or a combination of a desktop assessment and on-site feedlot inspection. Hessenius will share what is involved in an inspection and how a producer might prepare for it.

Rick Stowell, associate professor of biological systems engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will focus his presentation on air quality regulations for beef feedlots.

Currently, large permitted feedlots are required to report air emissions for ammonia and hydrogen sulfide. However, there has been much discussion about regulating dust in agriculture.

Jan Shearer, professor of veterinary diagnostic of production animal medicine at Iowa State University, will visit about hairy heel wart — a common and painful wart-like growth on the feet of cattle that causes lameness.

It is estimated to affect 40 percent of the dairy herds in the Midwest and is becoming more common in feedlot cattle.

Matt Deppe, executive director for the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, will present an update on association activities and issues relevant to Iowa cattle producers.

Ed Greiman, president of the association, will visit about a national cash market study and how formula grids may affect market price for finished cattle.

His presentation is in response to a current trend for more feedlot cattle to be sold on a grid formula, which reduces the number of cattle sold on the spot market. Yet the base price for the grid formula is determined by cattle sold on the spot market.

Other factors, such as the shortage of feeder cattle, competition for grain and the general economy, may likely pressure cattle feeding profits.

Andrew Gottschalk, senior vice president of RJ O’Brien and Associates, will close the forum with a discussion on market situation and outlook for both cattle and grains. 

Registration of $25 per person is due at the Sioux County Extension Office by Jan. 15. For more information, contact Doran at (712) 737-4230 or doranb@iastate.edu.