Texas AgriLife Extension Service has set the dates for its Beef Cattle Standardized Performance Analysis workshops.

The dates, times and locations are:

-April 22, 8:30 a.m.,Young County Arena,120 Barclay Blvd., Graham.

-April 30, 8:30 a.m., Management, Instruction and Research Center, 7945 Grape Creek Road, San Angelo.

-May 7, 8:30 a.m. Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center, U.S. Hwy 70, Vernon.

"The Standardized Performance Analysis or ‘SPA’ program can make good cattle managers better by measuring individual operations and comparing them to a pool of similar operations," said Bill Thompson, AgriLife Extension economist at San Angelo.

"Participants will complete an in-depth financial and production analysis of their cow herd, specifically the calves weaned in 2007," he said.

"This analysis will give them an excellent idea of where they currently stand," Thompson said. "Comparing their findings with others helps them establish both short- and long-term goals for their herd."

This is an intensive workshop aimed at having ranchers complete the standard performance analysis for the 2007 calf crop.

Registered participants will be sent forms to organize data before the workshop. Confidentiality of the producer's data will be maintained.

Following completion of the analysis, each participant will receive an individual meeting with a specialist certified in the program, and guidance on developing and using the information to measure cow herd performance and cash flow, according to Thompson.

They will also get a "herd report card" that compares their herd's performance to other herds, he said. Software and supporting materials will be provided.

"We've enjoyed relatively high calf prices over the last several years, but as ethanol continues to drive feed and fertilizer prices up, cattle producers could find themselves in a cost-price squeeze," Thompson said. "That's why a sound business plan and overall efficiency is so important now."

Event organizers would like participants to register as early as possible, so they can be provided with assistance in gathering and organizing the records and data needed to complete the analysis.

For more information and to register, contact Thompson at 325-653-4576, w-thompson@tamu.edu or contact Stan Bevers at 940-552-9941, ext 231 ors-bevers@tamu.edu.