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Running out of hay

February 18, 2013

Bob is hearing from clients that are running out of hay. Cattle auctions in some parts of the Midwest are flooded with cows, as producers hit with drought last summer liquidate herds.

Some farmers are backing off on rations to hold out until spring. This can be dangerous when cows are close to calving. Bob advised one client with skinny heifers to "push the groceries and sleep with the herd." Meaning: Watch them night and day, because there will be calving trouble.

I reported this news on Twitter and heard from Avery Kasper: "It's the same way in Kansas. No pasture and nothing to supplement. Guys are shipping cattle out of state to sell."

We are two months until first cutting, so the situation is getting serious.

We culled our ewe herd to 38 last fall, and have two small cuttings of alfalfa still stacked in the barn, so we are good.

Unless we have another drought.

Comments (2)

scott2568369 wrote:
Many Texas ranchers have also sold off most of their herds (sheep and cattle) because of the drought in West Central Texas. The good news is that many of them are now starting to rebuild their herds, that is, the ones who have not given up entirely. One of my clients, Dr. Tim Turner of Southwestern Livestock Mineral in San Angelo, Texas is recommending to all of his clients that they start using free choice minerals to supplement their livestock's diet because the calving season is right around the corner. The drought has led many ranchers to rethink their risk management strategies and livestock feeding programs through West Central Texas
betsy+freese wrote:
Thank you for this valuable information. It could be an interesting year to feed livestock! -- Betsy

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