Dale Watson
Commercial Agriculture Beef and Livestock Specialist
University of Missouri Extension




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Please send your comments and sund suggestions to Dale Watson, Commercial Agriculture Beef and Livestock Specialist, University of Missouri Extension, 111 N. Mason, Carrollton, MO 64633, call 660-542-1792, or send messages by e-mail to: watsond@missouri.edu.
For the Week of
September 30, 1999

Raindrops Provide Welcome Sound

The recent rains have provided new hope for many livestock producers. The reason for this new interest is the accumulation of water in many impoundments throughout much of Missouri. The summer of 1999 proved to be the season that pushed many water holding facilities to the limit of having water available for livestock.

Since water is the mainstay of life and daily requirements are a must, the livestock producer must provide access to water at all times. There is no other nutrient that is more important than the water supply for livestock. This nutrient is the basis for all physiological systems including digestive, nervous, circulatory and reproduction. Water is also very important in the transport of heat for dissipation from the body. This has been a very important factor throughout the summer of 1999.

The additional water requirement was promoted by the intense heat much of the Midwest experienced throughout the grazing season. Since the water requirement increases from approximately 6 gallons of water per day to over 16 gallons per day for a beef cow nursing a calf when the air temperature increases from 40 degrees to 90 degrees F. it is very important that water be available at all times.

The fall season always brings weaning and marketing of many beef calves born in the spring. Water plays a very important physiological role in the life of calves experiencing the weaning process which adds additional stress to this portion of life to the beef individual. Water is also an excellent method of providing medication to weaned calves. Most calves will drink even when they refuse to eat.

Many individuals use some method of limit feeding stocker cattle. Water plays a very important function if limit feeding is regulated through a salt or salt-type ingredient. Keeping water available at all times when this type of management is used is essential since water is the source of removing toxic levels of the feed ingredients used to limit consumption.

University of Missouri ExtensionDale's Country Trails - September 30, 1999
http://outreach.missouri.edu/agconnection/DCT/CT093099.html -- Revised: April 20, 2004