Exceptional Drought

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Bonsman

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Today, Western Oklahoma was officially placed in the "Exceptional Drought" category. That is the worst drought category which exists. We were moderate during the fall, then severe in the winter, then extreme in the spring, and now exceptional to start the summer. It can get drier, so maybe they will need to create a new category especially for us.

We are drier than at anytime since records have been kept and much drier than the dust bowl. The forecast calls for temeratures in the 105 degree range for the next seven days; and add a nice 15-25 mph south wind to the forecast. The summer heat dome is in place and it does not look good for the rest of the summer. We are a tinderbox waiting to ignite.

I am ready for that rain dance; but I am afraid that a rain dance is all about the timing.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Sorry for you & your area - do you still have your cattle?
One of these days - probably not in my lifetime - they will figure out how to MOVE storms from areas that don't need it, into areas that do. "We" sure could have SHARED a bit of water this year.
 
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Bonsman

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Jeanne - Simme Valley":2ahsd93k said:
Sorry for you & your area - do you still have your cattle?
One of these days - probably not in my lifetime - they will figure out how to MOVE storms from areas that don't need it, into areas that do. "We" sure could have SHARED a bit of water this year.


Oh yes, I still have all my cattle. I saved 160 acres of improved grass in case this happened. I have about 60 acres of bermuda grass on the backside of a flood control dam. I put 29 cows on it two weeks ago and will put another 19 in the next few weeks. I have 160 acres of improved grass on that place; so I will rotate on and off the bermuda over the summer. I know nothing about rotational grazing; but I am getting ready to learn. :D

I am going to cull ten older bulls that are leased when they come back and replace them with two-year olds. The bulls will have a tough summer and I might be short on bulls to lease next year. This drought/hot weather is why Bonsmara cattle were developed; and this will be the year to test them.

We have plenty of alfalfa if it comes to that. But I should survive until next spring.
 

highgrit

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We went through the worst drought I have seen this spring. All I can tell you is pray and hope for rain, you did good if you didn't have to cull any of your cows. Good Luck hope you get some rain.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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If you've never rotational grazed - one rule of thumb is never let them graze for longer than 7 days on one area. So, you should try to put them in an area that will last less than 7 days.
Now ---- this is based on the fact that they will eat regrowth, which will really hurt the plant. But, in your area - you may not have regrowth :shock:
 

1982vett

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Bonsman":36p6lb4l said:
Today, Western Oklahoma was officially placed in the "Exceptional Drought" category. That is the worst drought category which exists. We were moderate during the fall, then severe in the winter, then extreme in the spring, and now exceptional to start the summer. It can get drier, so maybe they will need to create a new category especially for us.

Like being in abnormaly dry conditions for over a year....
tx_dm061010.png


maybe it should be extreem for say 6 months....
south_dm010411.png


Wonder how long one should be in exceptional drought to gain recognintion....Or maybe another category for multiple years....(June 2009)
tx_dm091809.png


TexasAveragePrecipitationMap.gif

I'm in the 38 - 42 inch avreage rainfall area...year to date we've had 6.4 inches....in 2010 I got 26 inches....2009 totaled 39 inches with 25 of it falling in 4 months....2008 was a whopping 15.8 for the whole year.

So all in fun Bonsman....your late to the party :)
 

Jogeephus

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We've been fighting it too. Not as bad thankfully but it sucks nonetheless. I sold a load of calves two weeks ago and it helped ease the pressure. Got three rains in the last two weeks and am now able to go back to rotational grazing. We aren't out of the woods yet but its amazing what a little bit of water will do for things.
 

cow pollinater

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I know that's one he!! of a drought for you guys as you're not used to it but I can't help but look at that average rainfall and what you have this year and wonder why it's down to make or break. There has to be SOME kind of feed there even if it's not what you're used to.
My average rainfall here is eleven inches. Some of the best feed I've ever dealt with was an hour south where average is only about six inches and we had one year at three inches that was a pretty good year.
Enlighten me.
 

1wlimo

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cow pollinater":2g4203jo said:
I know that's one he!! of a drought for you guys as you're not used to it but I can't help but look at that average rainfall and what you have this year and wonder why it's down to make or break. There has to be SOME kind of feed there even if it's not what you're used to.
My average rainfall here is eleven inches. Some of the best feed I've ever dealt with was an hour south where average is only about six inches and we had one year at three inches that was a pretty good year.
Enlighten me.

I looked at the average too and did not know that so much of Texas normally has so much rain. I thought that it was all pretty dry.

I guess that their whole forage and enviroment needs all that rain to keep working.
 

JSCATTLE

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We have been in a drought for over 2, years in Texas . My average rain fall is around 54 inches a year . Last year we had 17.5 inches that I recorded from my rain gauge . This year so far I've received 7 inches. We have been in exceptional drought for the past 6 months. Just keep praying. And a rain dance or two couldn't hurt . Good luck
 

KNERSIE

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Can you still get hold of straw, Bonsman? Even if its a couple of years old? There are ways to stretch your pasture.
 
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Bonsman

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cow pollinater":312knuiu said:
I know that's one he!! of a drought for you guys as you're not used to it but I can't help but look at that average rainfall and what you have this year and wonder why it's down to make or break. There has to be SOME kind of feed there even if it's not what you're used to.
My average rainfall here is eleven inches. Some of the best feed I've ever dealt with was an hour south where average is only about six inches and we had one year at three inches that was a pretty good year.
Enlighten me.

I do not know about enlightenment; but I have a flashlight.

We typically get 26-32 inches per year. This year we have had two inches since August. The pasture is used to getting the average; that is what it needs. You have different grass with different rain requirements--it is that simple.

The land in Western Oklahoma is upland or bottomland. The bottom land is mostly farmland while the upland, for the most part, is pasture. Typically, we depend on grass from April thru November; and feed alfalfa hay with a supplement from November thru April. That is the norm. You do not see much wheat hay or grass hay in this part of the country.

Ranchers can also be divided into two parts--those who fill the pastures up with cows and those who are less agressive with their cow/grass ratio. We are less agressive. The more agressive farmers do not have any grass. By that I mean you can see the poop in the pasture from a quarter mile away. We have grass, it is just brown, burnt, and lacking nutrients. I am fortunate in having some bottomland bermuda, that receives moisture from a leaking flood control lake.

Here are the choices.....for those with no grass (but plenty of poop), they can liquidate or find some sort of hay to feed. The problem is that the wheat did not make anything this year--so no wheat hay; and there was not enough grass to make hay last year. That leaves alfalfa as their only option. The question is do they feed alfalfa or liquidate?

For those with burnt grass, a 12% supplement and some rangeland buckets should be enough so long as they continue to have roughage to eat. Then return to the winter alfalfa feeding in November. For me, I am in pretty good shape with the land that was rested last year.

I just do not see feeding alfalfa during the summer as an option. It is running over $200.00 a ton. So is that really an option to feed alfalfa year round?
 
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Bonsman

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KNERSIE":2se7ae7z said:
Can you still get hold of straw, Bonsman? Even if its a couple of years old? There are ways to stretch your pasture.


I am setting pretty good Knersie. I have some good bottom land bermuda along with a quarter that I rested last year. Plus, we have plenty of alfalfa, if needed. Even if it stays bad, I can make it till next summer without any problem.

It is my friends and neighbors that I am worried about, not me.
 

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