Grazing Series Part 4: 7 resources for pasture management in times of drought

Grazing Series Part 4: 7 resources for pasture management in times of drought

Many parts of the U.S. received good moisture in 2014, but many of those same parts have experienced a much drier winter and spring. This and the ongoing drought in California and much of the Southwest have sparked many conversations about ways to conserve water. Unfortunately, many mainstream journalists are spotlighting agriculture as one of the largest consumers of precious H2O.

READ: 3 articles that highlight the media's coverage of agriculture's water usage

So which regions are being hit the hardest with dry conditions? According to the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center, “From mid-March to mid-April 2015, dryness and drought expanded and/or intensified across the central Rockies and eastern Great Basin, the Central and Northern Plains, and parts of both the Northeast and Southeast. Across the West Coast states, especially California and western Nevada, drought areas have become entrenched in the past several years, and with the warm and drier time of year approaching, there is little if any chance for improvement.”

Photo Credit: USDA

asked readers to weigh in on their drought status. Of almost 100 respondents, 44% said they are concerned about drought but feel they have some time, while 36% said drought is an immediate issue for them. Another 17% said it wasn’t a concern, and 3% didn’t know.

READ: 9 drought tips from BEEF veterinarian

Of course, water is indispensable for agriculture and society, and ranchers and farmers have devised effective and efficient strategies for better managing crops and livestock, particularly in times of drought. In the fourth segment of my April Grazing Series, I’ve highlighted some BEEF resources related to pasture management in times of drought.

In case you missed my previous Grazing Series installments, check out blog posts one, two and three below.

Grazing Series Part 1: 3 tips for spring hay & pasture management 

Grazing Series Part 2: Extensive vs. moderate grazing, effective cross-fencing & more 

Grazing Series Part 3: Questions to ask before planting cover crops, alfalfa & perennial grasses on irrigated pastures 

Here is a roundup of seven drought resources worth revisiting:

1. Are you ready for the next drought? 

2. Pasture drought recovery starts with good weed control practices

3. Is a megadrought looming?

4. Video: Drought management plan is key

5. Quick steps to help pastures recover from drought 

6. Video: tips for restocking pasture post-drought 

7. 1 drought; 2 (or more) questions 

Are you concerned about drought in your area? Which strategies have you implemented to get the most out of your pastures when rain is sparse? Share your advice in the comments section below.

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Penton Agriculture.

 

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