OSU's Dr. Derrel Peel says Producers Need to be Prepared for Drought


Oklahoma Farm Report

02 Jul 2020


A wise Oklahoma rancher once said it seems like weíre always 10 days away from a drought or a flood so be prepared. As drought creeps across the Plains this summer, Dr. Derrell Peel, OSU Extension livestock market economist says beef producers need to be prepared.


As we anticipate a drought, I always encourage producers to plan ahead, Peel said. There are some things you can do to manage a drought if you start early enough, he said.


Itís human nature to just hope for the best but thatís a risky strategy to just say it will rain soon, Peel said.


This time of year is critical for pasture growth and hay production and Peel advised producers to check hay inventories and decide at what point do you implement a drought plan.


Producers need to ask themselves what my trigger points will be if I must do something, Peel said.


He noted droughts are an emotional time that can cloud our ability to make an objective plan.


Possible strategies could include pulling calves off grass early, moving them into a dry lot or sale them before you are totally out of forage.


Peel suggested other possibilities include pregnancy checking, cull the herd, things you were going to do anyway, do now as we have a strong cull cow market.


One factor in favor of cattle producers this summer is cheap feed grain supplies...


more, including audio [5:41 min.]†††