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Drought Has Some Farmers Making Tough Decisions

MU Extension

Drought has gripped much of the Show-Me State, which means cattle producers are having to make some difficult choices to make sure their herds have forage.

The U.S. Drought Monitor map released this month showed that nearly 70 percent of the state is experiencing some level of drought. And about 17 percent of Missouri is facing severe drought.

Experts from the University of Missouri Extension in Southwest Missouri say farmers can practice rotational grazing and use hay rather than allowing cattle to graze at all times.

Jill Scheidt is an agronomy specialist with the MU Extension in Barton County.

“Our hay supply is also short because we didn’t get kind of the sufficient rains in the winter time and then here when it came spring it was our second coldest April on record so our grass didn’t grow much," Scheidt said. 

Scheidt added that the month of May was the hottest on record and that some farmers may have to cull their herds as a last resort.