The bottom line in this and every drought is to protect the forage resource and maintain the productivity of the cow herd. We can never cheat the basics. Many costly lessons are being learned during this drought.
If you are like me, you are already planning for the upcoming quail season. The habitat available for this upcoming season is a result of current-year and past-year habitat management. Management practices affecting habitat include grazing, mowing or haying, prescribed fire or wildfire, and brush or weed management.
Forage producers with grazing livestock have just come through two of the worst growing seasons most folks can remember. Let's break that down into manageable segments: September to frost, frost to March and March to May. There are management strategies for each segment that can help stretch forage and keep managers in control instead of just reacting to a limited forage situation.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns has acknowledged these extremes - effective July 27, 2006, all 77 counties in Oklahoma were designated as natural disaster areas. In addition, several counties in Texas have received the same designation. What does this mean to a cattle producer living in one of these counties?
After returning from the Oklahoma and Texas pecan growers association meetings where water management was a topic of discussion, I felt the need to write about pecan water management.
Soil testing pays, and I am certain you've heard this statement from one of Noble's soil and crops specialists before. We already have begun seeing soil test results with high residual nitrogen. These levels have been high enough at times to cause us to not recommend nitrogen fertilization for fall/winter pasture forage production.
I have wanted to write this article since June 2005 when Noble's staff horticulturists took cooperators on a horticulture tour of central Oklahoma. The reason for these tours is to allow growers of horticultural crops to share their opinions with cooperators.
Lack of rain has caused cattle producers to scramble for any means possible just to hold on to their cattle. If we are trying to stay positive, then one good thing that has come out of all this is we have had to stretch conventional thought paradigms and incorporate some pretty unorthodox thinking. An example of this revolves around supplementing alternative feedstuffs to mature cows.
Since its launch in 1997, the Noble Research Institute's popular online Plant Image Gallery has helped thousands of natural resource managers, ecologists, students and homeowners who are seeking to identify plants. Now, Noble is pleased to announce some upgrades to the site that will make plant identification faster and easier.
Pastures are quickly burning up due to the heat and dry conditions, resulting in ranchers quickly running out of grazeable pasture that provides the necessary energy, protein, vitamins and minerals. Since the drought is covering such a large area, accessible supplemental hay and available rental pasture is not abundant in nearby areas.