Managing in aftermath of drought

Workshops for ranchers in September, October at Valentine, Gudmundsen, Mirage Flats

The year 2017 pushed extremes, with the driest June on record, a July among the hottest documented, and powerful hailstorms. This spring and summer presented cattlemen with a challenging summer drought, which will impact decisions into the fall and winter.

A series of drought workshops are planned this fall to assist cattlemen make economic and sustainable decisions with their cowherds and rangelands. 

Classroom and outdoor discussion will be held on estimating herbage production for fall and winter grazing, important precipitation trigger dates, ways to reduce grazing pressure in dry conditions, and how grazing this fall could impact next year’s grass production. 

Due to the shortage of winter range, alternative winter feed options will be discussed. Among other options are limit feeding cows in semi-confinement. Pasture, Rangeland, Forage (PRF) insurance is a risk management tool to help with variable rainfall.

Outdoor sessions will be held on key plant species, how defoliation and drought affects plant growth, and how to clip to estimate pasture production.

Workshops will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (local times) on:

Sept. 18 at the Extension Office in Valentine, 402-376-1850 or;

Sept. 19 at the Gudmundsen Sandhills Lab (GSL) near Whitman, 308-645-2267 or;

Oct. 11 at the Terrell Ranch (Brock) near Mirage Flats; 308-327-2312 or  A tour of cover crops and irrigated pastures will follow that afternoon.

Call the extension office location one week prior for a meal count.  Sack lunches will be provided.  Registration is $10 per person.