Experts warn beef producers to start preparing for next drought now
Cattle producers may be forced to reduce herd numbers if the current weather conditions in Texas and other parts of the U.S. continue. An extended winter and poor hay cuttings may lead to a shortage of hay later in the year, reports The Eagle.
Jason Banta, AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist in Overton, said there was very little hay carryover from last year due to the extended winter. Cooler-than-normal temperatures into spring also meant the first hay cutting, which is typically one of the best, was subpar. The second cutting also was below normal in quantity and quality due to drought. States like Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas are experiencing similar conditions.
"That means hay supplies will be tight," Banta said. "A lot of producers are getting worried, and their concerns are justified."
Banta advised that producers should maintain cow body condition and to wean calves earlier than usual to keep them in better condition going into winter.
Source: The Eagle