A summer of drought brings its challenges to livestock producers.


A summer of drought brings its challenges to livestock producers.
Many ponds have gone dry, and the grass just can’t be productive without rain.
Usually producers plan on their cattle grazing from May to October.
This year, they will be lucky to stay out another 30 days.  Even if our area receives rain, the grass will not produce a normal season of growth.
If producers haven’t already, they need to come up with a plan to address the shortage of grass and hay.
Some options to consider are
1. Wean calves early
2. Preg check your cows and cull any that are open.
3. Evaluate and cull any cows that are old, lame or ornery.
4. Determine your hay inventory and see how short you will be.
5. Buy hay.
6. Ask neighbors that were forced to silage their dry land corn to see if they have extra silage available.
7. Use wet distillers grain to supplement.
8. Limit the cows time at the bale feeder.
9. Sell the herd and get back in when hay and grass are available.
These are tough decisions, and no easy answers.

Jonie James is Harvey County Extension agent, agriculture.