Livestock Wx for Aug. 04, 2017: Livestock Wx, a provider of weather information for stock producers, discusses dry conditions around Texas and Oklahoma and the latest on the Northern Plains drought.
Dry Conditions Expand in South Texas and Oklahoma
In the latest issuance of the U.S. Drought Monitor, parts of north-central Oklahoma and South Texas have seen abnormally dry (D0) conditions expand. The image below shows the expansion along with the expected amount of rainfall over the next 7-days. The forecast shows parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas could receive soaking rains over this time period, however, the expanded dry areas may miss out on the rain. According to the latest Texas Crop and Weather Report pasture and rangeland conditions in South Texas were particularly poor due to above normal temperatures and lack of rainfall. The report noted producers in the area are continuing to provide supplemental feed.
Temperatures on the other hand should remain relatively cool over the next 7-days, which should help these areas. The main action for temperatures will be along the West Coast where they are expecting some of the hottest weather in the last several years. much higher than normal conditions.
Northern Plains Drought Continues
The Northern Plains drought continues, however, drought levels have stayed relatively constant over the last week. According to USDA, approximately 50 percent of the pasture and range conditions rate as poor and very poor in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. Poor pasture conditions can be seen through the latest USDA Cattle on Feed estimates. Cattle and calves on feed totaled 10.8 million head on July 1, 2017, which is 4 percent above estimates in 2016. Breaking the inventory down a bit shows steers and steer calves are up approximately 1 percent from the previous year while heifers and heifer calves show the largest increase of up to 11 percent from 2016. The drought area is also affecting alfalfa hay areas. The image below from USDA shows approximately 26 percent of U.S. alfalfa hay acreage is within the drought area. Many producers are already providing supplemental feed and hay is in short supply. For example, reports out of
North Dakota describe the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and North Dakota State University are working setup hay donations for producers that will be distributed based on a lottery system.
Livestock Wx will continue to monitor these conditions. For information about weather conditions in your area and the potential impacts to livestock, please contact Livestock Wx at: firstname.lastname@example.org.