Portions of the state have recently had some good rainfall events. One or two good rains, however, does not end the drought. The forecast for much of the state, with the exception of deep southeast Texas, is for continued drought through the end of March. Some climatologists have stated the present dry cycle we are in may not end until approximately 2020. Therefore, approach increasing the cow herd with caution. Pastures should show good coverage and growth prior to increasing the stocking rate. Additionally, if there is need to re-establish Coastal or Tifton 44 bermudagrass fields (these varieties are notoriously slow to spread) carefully consider the source of the sprigs. If the field where the sprigs will come from has been impacted by the recent drought, the sprigs may be weakened and not provide the quality planting material you need. Finally, any soil samples sent in from drought-stricken fields should have the box “Minimum Requirement” checked. This will alert the lab to make a minimum recommendation rather than a recommendation meant for a healthy field. Use the minimum requirement as a basis for fertilizer application until the field has recovered.
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