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Drought and ongoing wildfires turned western Oklahoma into a governor-declared disaster zone by April 13. Ten days later, the still-blazing fires covered more than 349,000 acres.
Many land managers incorporate prescribed fires into a management plan alongside grazing livestock. Other land managers feel it is not feasible to graze and burn on the same operation. But when prescribed fire is used strategically, its benefits outweigh any negatives.
Drought is the most crucial constraint to crop productivity. Most of Earth’s surface area is not suitable for crop production due to severe water limitations, and the scenario is likely to get worse especially in the southern Midwest and southeastern United States. Recent climate models suggest an increase in aridity in many areas of the world. More than 35 percent of the world’s land is considered arid or semiarid. Even in areas of high rainfall, crops experience water stress due to uneven rainfall distribution. Drought can cause significant crop yield loss and under severe conditions up to 100 percent crop loss is experienced.
Pasture managers may dread droughts. However, with proper planning and preparation, they can minimize the damage and keep operations running smoothly.
Jimmy and Ginger Emmons press on from the Rhea Fire knowing it cannot overpower the agriculture community’s spirit or the soil’s ability to give life.
Understanding and avoiding these top 10 misconceptions about grazing management can help ranchers increase production of both forage and pounds of beef.