Latest News

Apr
16

Drought and Regional Cropping Changes Impact Hay Production

Lingering winter weather this year is exaggerating the impacts of limited forage supplies for beef producers. Drought in 2011 and 2012 reduced U.S. hay production and increased hay demand leaving the country with very limited forage supplies at this time.
Apr
12

Drought Management: Don't Forget About Your Bulls

It's easy, as the drought of the century lumbers on, to focus on the cowherd as you scramble and scratch for ways to weather another dry year. But what about the bulls?
Apr
12

Drought Monitor Continues to Show Improvement in Latest Weekly Update

Drought has retreated in much of eastern Oklahoma - based on the latest Drought Monitor. A part of LeFlore County in eastern Oklaoma is no longer in drought or even is listed as being abnormally dry. The amount of the state in drought - moderate or worse - has dropped from 99.3% down to 85% in this latest release.
Apr
11

A Stubborn Drought Tests Texas Ranchers

Gary Price is a rarity among cattle ranchers these days. He's making money on his herd of 200 cows in this tiny town about an hour south of Dallas-Fort Worth.
Mar
25

Finally, A Positive Drought Forecast, Gary McManus Says

Oklahoma has been faced with a "drought to persist or intensify" forecast from the Climate Prediction Center each few weeks since last summer, or at least it seems that way, that the latest forecast brings much better news, at least in the long run, says Associate State Climatologist Gary McManus.
Mar
25

Drought Is Causing A New Focus On Milk EPDs

Commercial cattlemen are looking hard at milk EPDs these days. Nearly every breed continues to show a relatively strong upward trend in milk EPDs, but the drought has caused producers to look long and hard at the level of milk production from a maintenance requirement standpoint.
Mar
25

Long-Term Weather Outlook: Cinch Up

If there's any advice that succinctly addresses the current weather situation facing many cattlemen, it's this: "Cinch up. The ride ain't near over yet."
Mar
18

Hydrologist Says It's Tough to Know if Drought Will be Broken this Year

As the recent drought developed and has persisted across the Southern Plains, one of the people studying it closely has been climatological hydrologist John Feldt. He is a former Hydrologist-in-Charge at the National Weather Service and is the founder and president of Blue Water Outlook, which provides information on water resources and water management.
Mar
06

Senate approves Emergency Drought Protection Special Fund

A measure to provide financial assistance to Oklahoma's agricultural community during droughts passed the Senate unanimously Tuesday. Senate Bill 996 would create the Emergency Drought Protection Special Fund. Sen. Ron Justice, author of the legislation, says the state's current drought is a tragic example of why the fund is needed.
Feb
28

Ranchers develop planning methodology to best respond to drought

Like a general mapping out his strategy before going into battle, a rancher must be prepared to respond effectively to drought, one of the biggest threats to Great Plains ranchers. With the input of ranchers and advisers, a drought-planning methodology has been created to encourage more ranchers to develop advance plans.
Feb
22

Drought worries cure grass fever - stocker, feeder cattle lower

Mid-February usually brings the first signs of grass fever as cattlemen begin gathering cattle for grazing programs. But continuing drought across the Central Plains this year has removed most of the optimism from grazing cattle markets, and cattlemen are left in a dilemma.
Feb
18

Oklahoma Conservation Districts, Churches Call for Interfaith Prayers for Rain

With the drought in Oklahoma projected to continue through the spring and with the specter of a growing water crisis on the horizon, the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts, the Oklahoma Conference of Churches and the Whole Creation Community, a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma, jointly announced a call for all Oklahomans of faith to come together for a series of Interfaith Days of Prayer for Rain in the coming months and for all Oklahomans to have a meaningful conversation about our stewardship of the state's water resources.
Feb
13

Drought Emergency Legislation Bills Approved, Move to Appropriations Committee

The passage by an Oklahoma House of Representatives sub-committee of two legislative measures designed to help agriculture producers and rural fire districts cope with the record drought currently gripping the Southern Plains is a very positive development according to Joe Parker, president of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts (OACD). The two measures, House Bill 1827 by Representative Don Armes, (R-Faxon) and House Bill 1923 by Representative Dale DeWitt (R-Braman) both passed the House Appropriations Sub-Committee on Natural Resources and Regulatory Services with no opposition.
Feb
13

If the climate is changing, what challenges can be expected?

Higher temperatures, increased humidity, and a greater frequency of severe weather patterns all are elements of a change in climate, regardless of whether the cause is a natural phenomenon or man-made. Such weather changes can have an adverse impact on plant and animal production. Crops--such as corn and soybeans—can exhibit declines in yield and profitability. Livestock are more susceptible to disease issues and insect infestation in areas of increased temperature and humidity. To maintain agricultural productivity, humans must take necessary actions to better adapt to the effects of climate change.
Feb
12

Ag must address looming water crisis

At the King Ranch and Deseret Ranches, Paul Genho, PhD., has helped manage some of the nation’s largest ranching operations. During the Cattle Industry Convention in Tampa, he discusses the nation’s critical water and the findings of a new report from the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management.
Feb
12

Warm, dry spring and a developing La Niña are forecast

A developing La Niña in the Pacific Ocean could provide favorable conditions for a return of drought to the Central Plains in 2013. That message was delivered to cattlemen by meteorologist Art Douglas, Creighton University, last week in Tampa, Fla., at the Cattle Industry Convention and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Trade Show.
Feb
12

Are we headed for another dust bowl?

The intense drought blanketing the heartland drags on, and as fewer weather systems offer even minimal relief, some are again mentioning the possibility of the historic “d” word – dust bowl.
Jan
22

Don't expect drought to end anytime soon

The current drought impacting more than 60 percent of the United States, which crippled many crops last summer, is not expected to ease anytime soon, said Dave Relihan, chief meteorologist, WIBW Radio, who spoke Wednesday at the Kansas Commodity Classic in Manhattan, Kan.
Jan
22

Drought, feed costs influence livestock markets in 2013

Drought and high feed costs could continue to restrict livestock markets in 2013 if conditions do not improve, says Dr. David Anderson, professor and economist in Livestock and Food Products Marketing with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
Jan
17

U.S. Drought In 2013 Hurts Cattle Ranchers With Dry, Poor Wheat Crop

Oklahoma rancher Kent Donica has given up. The drought that has ravaged pastures on his ranch and throughout the region has won. Since last September, Donica has sold nearly all of his 800 cattle because there is no pasture to feed them and he now works as a ranch hand nearby to make ends meet until it rains again.

2012 News Archive

2011 News Archive