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Drought Strategy

 “The state was fortunate to receive above-normal precipitation last fall, creating ample subsoil moisture for great spring green-up and pasture growth,” says Miranda Meehan, NDSU Extension livestock environmental stewardship specialist. “However, due to the current dry conditions, forage production will start to decline at an expected rate of 30% or greater, with production declining even further if conditions persist. Just as important, if conditions stay dry, plants will mature and become rank, decreasing the quality of feed for much of the grazing season.”

Producers must have trigger dates identified for making critical decisions on their operations in the event of a drought.

“In terms of grazing management, July 1 is one of the most important dates for livestock producers in North Dakota,” says Kevin Sedivec, NDSU Extension rangeland management specialist. “By July 1, 80% of forage has been produced on most range and pasturelands, with the exception being areas dominated by warm-season grasses. After July 1, precipitation on cool-season-dominated grasslands will enhance forage quality but will have little impact on production.”

Read the entire article here.

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