Drought Survival Meetings Aug. 27 in West Plains, Squires

WEST PLAINS, Mo. – The drought this summer has caused headaches for livestock producers who are preparing to feed cattle this winter with little forage and hay on hand.

The Howell and Douglas County Extension Councils are offering meetings on Monday, Aug. 27 at two locations for cattle producers who want to discuss this issue and gain tips for surviving the drought.

The first meeting on August 27 will be offered from 10 a.m. until noon at the University of Missouri Howell County Extension Office, 1376 Bill Virdon Blvd., West Plains. 

Another meeting will be offered from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the same day at the Squires Livestock Auction.

The programs will focus on supplementing low-quality hay, pro and cons of feeding cow commodities herd culling tips, precautions with nitrates and prussic acid, fall forage alternatives and assessing the price of forages.

Producers are welcome to bring lower stems of fertilized sudangrass, millet, Johnsongrass and bermudagrass for a quick subjective analysis of nitrates.

“The drought has taken a major toll on beef and dairy farms in the area. Short hay supplies will continue to plague these farms as we go into winter,” said Sarah Kenyon, an agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension in West Plains. “Producers need to take extra steps to stretch their feed supplies and know what alternatives are available to address the crisis.”

Sarah Kenyon, Dr. Eric Bailey, state beef nutrition specialist, Randy Wiedmeier, regional livestock specialist, and Jim Spencer, regional agriculture business specialist, will be on hand for the discussion.

For more information, contact the Howell County Extension office at 417-256-2391.