The drought this summer has caused many headaches for livestock producers who are preparing to feed cattle this winter with little forage and hay on hand. The Lawrence and Greene County Extension Councils are offering meetings on Friday, August 17, at two locations for cattle producers who want to discuss this issue and gain tips for surviving the drought.

The programs will focus on supplementing low quality hay, alternative feeds, 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 Tim Schnakenberg, an agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension based in Galena. “Producers need to take extra steps to stretch their feed supplies and know what alternatives are available to address the crisis.”

Tim Schnakenberg, 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. On August 17, a meeting will be offered from 9 a.m. until noon at the University of Missouri Southwest Research Center (14548 Hwy H) at Mt. Vernon. Another meeting will be offered from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. the same day at the Springfield Livestock Marketing Center.

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