Stories, opinions, facts, convictions, and lessons learned from a small town farm girl.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Surviving the Drought

Here in northwest Arkansas, we have been blessed with a few days of much-needed rain.  Things were getting very dry, as they are across the entire southwestern part of our country, though the dryness here doesn't hold a candle to areas such as west Texas.

We are in the midst of history-in-the-making.  With a summer of non-stop record-breaking high temperatures across the country and a mind-blowing drought in the southwest section of the United States, cattle producers are faced with making life- and operation-changing decisions.

Countless herd-dispersal sales have been occuring across the region, with producers selling their cows because of lack of water, lack of forage, and the inability to harvest hay to feed their cattle due to both of these.  As a result of the lack of water resources in part of the country and too much water in the midwest, grain prices are sky-rocketing, making it virtually impossible to economically prosper in the cattle business... unless your on to it's game.

I had the priveledge of listening to a few presentations while they were being taped for a webinar a few weeks ago that opened my eyes to just how serious things are getting - and how we can overcome these tough times.

Take a look at this resource guide of The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation's, titled Managing During Drought.  By following this link, you will be able to find an answer to many of your questions, hopefully easing the pain of the dry times just a bit. 

Another link on The Noble Foundation's site identifies some tips for managing your cattle, specifically.  These tips include:
  • Wean Calves Early
  • Identify cows to sell
  • Inventory forage resources
  • Acquire hay and feed
  • Scout for toxic plants
  • Monitor water quantity and quality
  • Test hay before purchase
  • Plan ahead!
"The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation is an independent, nonprofit institute headquartered in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Founded in 1945, the Noble Foundation conducts direct operations, including assisting farmers and ranchers, and conducting plant science research and agricultural programs, to enhance agricultural productivity regionally, nationally and internationally." (  Their website is a great production tool, no matter where you are located in the United States or what kind of operation you are running.  When you have a few extra minutes, mosey on over to their website and take a look - you will be pleased with what you find!

Pray for rain

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