Is a serious drought looming, and are you ready for one? In the fourth installment of our April Grazing Series, we revisit seven BEEF magazine resources for managing pastures in times of dry conditions.
You do a closed ended plan when the grazing season ends in order to budget out your available forage to last until the beginning of your rainy season PLUS A DROUGHT RESERVE.
Repeat as necessary until you are the only one in the drought stricken region who has any forage.
Many parts of the U.S. received good moisture in 2014, but many of those same parts have experienced a much drier winter and spring. This and the ongoing drought in California and much of the Southwest have sparked many conversations about ways to conserve water. Unfortunately, many mainstream journalists are spotlighting agriculture as one of the largest consumers of precious H2O.
So which regions are being hit the hardest with dry conditions? According to the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center, “From mid-March to mid-April 2015, dryness and drought expanded and/or intensified across the central Rockies and eastern Great Basin, the Central and Northern Plains, and parts of both the Northeast and Southeast. Across the West Coast states, especially California and western Nevada, drought areas have become entrenched in the past several years, and with the warm and drier time of year approaching, there is little if any chance for improvement.”
Last week’s online poll at beefmagazine.com asked readers to weigh in on their drought status. Of almost 100 respondents, 44% said they are concerned about drought but feel they have some time, while 36% said drought is an immediate issue for them. Another 17% said it wasn’t a concern, and 3% didn’t know.
Of course, water is indispensable for agriculture and society, and ranchers and farmers have devised effective and efficient strategies for better managing crops and livestock, particularly in times of drought. In the fourth segment of my April Grazing Series, I’ve highlighted some BEEF resources related to pasture management in times of drought.
Here is a roundup of seven drought resources worth revisiting: 1. Are you ready for the next drought?
Are you concerned about drought in your area? Which strategies have you implemented to get the most out of your pastures when rain is sparse? Share your advice in the comments section below.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Penton Agriculture.
Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual. This is the ideal squeal to A Handbook for Ranch Managers. Although the ecological principles remain the same, what was originally known as “The Savory Grazing Method” now answers to a multitude of different names: ranching for profit, holistic management, managed grazing, mob grazing, management intensive grazing, etc. Land & Livestock International, Inc. uses “Restoration Grazing” under its “Managing the Ranch as a Business” program.” No mater what you call it, this summary and synopsis will guide you step by step through the process and teach you how to use it as it was originally intended. No more excuses for failing to complete your grazing plans.