As we manage the cow herd into the fall and through the winter, our primary focus should be on health and nutrition. These two areas of management determine reproductive performance, which is the number one factor that affects profitability.
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.
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.
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.