sealPurdue News

August 15, 1997

Dry pastures create problems for hay, livestock farmers

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Dry conditions in July and August have made things tough for Indiana livestock producers.

Farmers are finding that their grazing pastures are too dry to support their livestock, said Dave Petritz, assistant director of the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service.

"Pasture conditions are not good. The southern third of the state is the driest," he said. "If producers get an inch of rain right now and frequent rains until fall, it could turn fall pastures around. They could get another cut of hay."

The lack of feed has caused some farmers to use their winter supply. "Typically, producers have to feed their livestock stored feed to make up the difference of the pasture," Petritz said.

The dry crops create serious problems for both hay producers and livestock farmers, Petritz said. "One of the problems is the hay crop is short this year. We're using up hay that's already quite valuable," he said.

"The other problem you have is cattle production. They're not feeding the cattle as much, so they don't weigh as much. If it stays this dry, producers will be forced to sell livestock. Prices will go lower, and income will go down."

Petritz advises livestock farmers to prepare for these circumstances by following these tips:

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