Drought is a topic on every tongue in our service area. I've recently visited with several producers who have made plans to manage through this drought. But the length and severity of this dry spell is affecting everyone and is very serious for many. In recent months, we've tried to inform you with timely newspaper and newsletter articles on forage management, destocking, and early weaning strategies.
We've addressed the potential of prussic acid and nitrate poisoning. If you need copies of these fact sheets, please call. We will continue to try to keep you informed of options and opportunities as this drought worsens. You will find articles regarding winter pasture forage options following drought conditions.
As everyone knows, we are very short of hay in this region. The expectations for a large corn crop this fall are high so corn, as an alternative to hay, might be worth considering. Additionally, Oklahoma and Texas corn producers have already and will undoubtedly continue to undergo marketing problems with corn that is too high in aflatoxins. Because corn with moderate aflatoxin levels may still be fed to beef cows, an opportunity may arise where cattlemen in need of cheap feed may contract with local corn producers in need of an outlet for drought stressed corn.
Some of our staff are developing fact sheets outlining the deleterious effects of aflatoxin and the regulations surrounding them. We are also working on a fact sheet that addresses the cost comparisons of corn and hay. If you need any additional information, please feel free to call us. Those fact sheets should be available by the time you receive this newsletter. Please contact us if you need additional information on these topics.