Drought survival meetings Aug. 17 in Mt. Vernon

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

University Extension pooling resources for local producers

Summer drought has caused headaches for livestock producers who are preparing to feed cattle this winter with little forage or hay on hand.

As a result, University of Missouri county extension offices have been flooded with questions about what to do. Those questions have led to the Lawrence and Greene County MU Extension Councils offering meetings on Friday, Aug. 17, for cattle producers who want tips for surviving the drought.

The meetings on Aug. 17 will be offered from 9 a.m. until noon at the University of Missouri Southwest Research Center, 14548 Hwy H, Mt. Vernon and from 2 to 5 p.m. the same day at the Springfield Livestock Marketing Center, 821 W. Independence Dr, Springfield.

The programs will focus on supplementing low-quality hay, alternative feeds, herd culling, precautions with nitrates and prussic acid, fall forage alternatives and assessing the price of forages.

Producers are also 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 Tim Schnakenberg, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension. “Producers need to take extra steps to stretch their feed supplies and know what alternatives are available to address the crisis.”

Schnakenberg, along with Dr, Eric Bailey, state beef nutrition specialist, Eldon Cole, regional livestock specialist, Jill Scheidt, regional agronomy specialist and Jim Spencer, regional ag business specialist, will be on hand for the discussion at both meetings.

For more information, people may contact Tim Schnakenberg at 417-357-6812.