The likelihood of wildfires occurring increases during late fall and winter months due to dormant grass, fallen tree leaves and periods of high winds and low humidities.
As if to add insult to injury, drought conditions make weed control even more challenging and important than usual. Weeds compete for light, nutrients, space and, most importantly during a drought, water.
During times of drought, water quantity is an obvious concern to livestock producers. Livestock consume water daily, but evaporation is the primary means of water loss from earthen impoundments.
Exceptional drought robbed pasture and range managers of the 2011 forage production they were counting on to get to the traditional winter feeding period. Thus, many are left trying to feed their way through this drought or destock to better match forage demand to forage availability.
With the drought-induced import of vast quantities of hay into Oklahoma and Texas from neighboring states and beyond, there is a risk that invasive weeds will be brought in with that hay.
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 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.
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.