Livestock producers dealing with drought impacts can receive help from specialists with University of Missouri Extension.
Prolonged lack of precipitation, in combination with extended cold temperatures, which then transitioned quickly to very hot temperatures, has taken a toll on pastures, hay fields, and water sources.
Weather conditions stunted grass growth in the spring, forcing producers to feed hay for longer than normal. Hay supplies are low. What little is for sale is generally expensive. Pastures that were overgrazed are slower to respond to precipitation because of reduced leaf and root area. Some are dealing with low ponds and having to haul water. Initial reports of hay yields indicate significant reductions compared to average.
MU Extension can help producers work on strategies to stretch hay supplies, manage pastures through drought, prevent issues with forage toxicities, select animals for herd reductions, early wean calves, keep feed costs as low as possible while meeting animal nutritional requirements, and much more.
Current drought resources are being posted as they become available on the Atchison County MU Extension website at
Most extension offices have bale probes available to loan which can be used to test hay for nutritional content. For producers interested in feeding green chop or corn silage, qualitative nitrate tests are available to assess nitrate levels.
To find your nearest MU Extension office, visit