Drought Lingers in Texas

Parts of Texas enjoyed a fairly good spring, but since late May, there has been precious little rainfall occurring over much of the state.  A look at the most recent drought monitor map indicates about 88% of the state was in some form of drought and the long range forecast through October 31 indicates most of the state will remain under dry conditions.  If you are planning on wintering livestock, now is the time to locate and purchase any hay you will need.  Or, if you have opportunity to harvest hay from your own property, you should consider doing so before the drought becomes any more severe and plants begin to mobilize nutrients from the leaf to the crown area.  Consider having your hay analyzed early to determine any supplementation needs you may have.  Additionally, you may wish to consider your cow herd and make additional cuts to the stocking rate to maintain an adequate level of forage residue in the pastures.  Remember, without adequate forage in the pasture, when rainfall does occur, you will: a) not capture and be able to use the water that does fall on your property due to increased runoff; b) with increased runoff water velocity, you suffer much more soil erosion and topsoil loss; c) you will lose soil nutrients (fertilizer), organic matter, and pesticides, and finally; d) you have an increased chance of bacteria moving from dung pats into the nearest water body.  Bacteria is the leading cause of Texas waterbody impairment and a growing problem relative to the federal Clean Water Act.  Adequate forage in the pasture reduces all of the above negative issues.

Drought Forecast

Comments are closed.