Many areas continue to face hardships due to the lack of precipitation. This fall brings hope for the end of drought conditions, but the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook suggests the drought will persist or intensify in many areas of the Southern Great Plains.
An option available to producers this fall is overseeding the warm season pastures with a cool season forage, assuming we have adequate moisture conditions at planting. With our summer pastures being grazed short, early establishment is very possible and would thus facilitate fall forage production.
With the challenges of the drought, the beef cow inventory declined 3.1 percent for an annual inventory of 2011 and prospects for further decline are evident unless changes occur in cow slaughter and heifer retention. With this decline, the 2012 U.S. calf crop stands at 35 million head, the lowest in 60 years.