• Evaluate winter cereal and alfalfa crops. What is the stand quality like? How much winterkill is there?
• Assess the grasses in your pasture. Is there grass coming up? What leaf stage is it at? Domesticated pasture should be at the 3 leaf stage while native range grasses should be at the 3 ½ leaf stage prior to allowing grazing.
• Consider reducing the stocking rate in each pasture. Can you afford to put fewer animals in a pasture? Will you plan to wean early? Do you have enough feed to remove cattle off pasture earlier in the season?
Now these are just a few items that can help you get started thinking about your drought management plan. You can also plan to attend an upcoming Drought Workshop that will be held 1 p.m. May 24 at the Morton County Fairgrounds. At this workshop you will learn how to evaluate your grasses, different grazing strategies, feeding alternatives during times of drought, feed supplements, and impacts of water quality on livestock. You can even bring in a livestock water sample with you and get it tested for TDS and sulfates for free.
I hope to see you all on May 24 for this free, educational event. If you have any questions, please reach out at 701-667-3340.