In most years, winter pasture would be planted by Sept. 1 and some fields would be turning green at the start of October. However, throughout southern Oklahoma and northern Texas in 2011, this may not be the case because of the drought.
With the 2011 drought in the Southern Great Plains, many people are curious to know if conditions have affected deer populations and if there is anything to be done to mitigate potential effects.
Pasture weed management always presents a challenge. There are dynamic, complex interactions between desirable forages, grazing animals, encroaching weeds, soil types, nutrient levels, climate and...
The drought conditions have left forage resources for this year's fall and winter in short supply for most producers. Over the last couple of months, calves have been early weaned and cattle herds have been culled heavily, relocated to pasture or completely dispersed.
The drought of 2011 is set to go down in the record books as one of the most severe in history. Most livestock producers in the Southern Great Plains have not been able to put up enough hay to meet their requirements in a normal growing season, let alone during a drought when they will have to start feeding hay earlier in the year.
Let's say you look at the results from your soil sample and see there is a recommendation for lime. You check around and discover this is going to cost $40-$50 per acre. A normal person would question whether the value received from liming is worth the cost.
Cattle producers should be on watch for two types of poisoning during drought. The potential for nitrate and prussic acid poisoning of cattle is most often associated with dry periods; therefore, livestock owners should take precautions, including forage testing. Often the first indication of a problem is one or more dead animals.
If your pond is low, this might be the perfect time to renovate poor or marginal largemouth bass, bluegill and channel catfish populations or eliminate undesirable fish such as bullheads, common carp, warmouth and green sunfish. If your pond is dry, you will need to make plans to deepen it before stocking fish next spring when, hopefully, it's full again.
With triple-digit temperatures and very little rain, the livestock industry is feeling the effects of drought. The United States Department of Agriculture has rated 90 percent of pasture conditions in the region as very poor. To make matters worse, most livestock water sources are drying up or have reached a point where water quality is a major concern.
The Noble Research Institute Wildlife and Fisheries Consultants provide drought tips on a number of topics.