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
December 2, 1999

Drought Has Some Positive Points

The limited supply of water is a major concern for many livestock producers; however, there are positive points we are enjoying regarding the current dry season. Managing the limited water supply for livestock is a must even if this means adding water tanks, moving livestock to non-tradition wintering areas, or pumping water from one impoundment to another. Water must be provided or we will be out of the livestock business.

The prolonged dry period has provided positive environmental circumstances in many respects. The producers that are currently feeding livestock or supplementing them in some form are observing very little waste in the feeding areas. This strengthens and adds to the supply of forage needed later this winter. This dry environment has created an extended feeding period but also has provided a positive economic value by stretching the feed supply.

Another environmental asset is the lack of mud, which promotes reduced feed requirements for livestock. Wet, muddy weather conditions definitely require a higher quality nutritional intake just to maintain a constant body condition. This is a place lower quality forage can be utilized.

The extended days with the warmer than normal temperatures have also provided positive environmental circumstances that will reduce the energy requirement. Maintaining body heat is no different than maintaining heat in an office or home. The colder the weather, the more heat required to maintain a constant temperature.

The dryer than normal weather conditions also provide the opportunity for selected culling of the cow herd. Locating the efficient calf factories and making a list of the individuals that tend to be less efficient will assist with stretching the amount of available nutrients for the winter.

Also the current environmental circumstances present us with the opportunity to become better managers. Major management decisions must be made to promote production and marketing; however, it is a must to keep all details current or the net income from each enterprise will become a liability instead of an asset.


University of Missouri ExtensionDale's Country Trails - December 2, 1999
http://outreach.missouri.edu/agconnection/DCT/CT120299.html -- Revised: April 20, 2004
watsond
@missouri.edu