Ranchers in dry areas may need to reassess drought plans

Ranchers in dry areas may need to reassess drought plans.
In light of the dry range conditions forecast for much of central and western South Dakota, cattle producers are encouraged to review their drought management plans.
"Areas in central South Dakota that were not in drought conditions last year, are experiencing dry conditions right now.
Kelly encouraged those cattle and forage producers entering their second season of drought conditions to continue with management actions taken last season and make necessary adjustments to this year’s drought plan if dry conditions persist.
To help with developing a drought management plan for the 2017 grazing season, Kelly outlines tools cattle producers and range managers can reference.
The first trigger date is based on growing conditions from the previous year.
"For example, much of western South Dakota was experiencing drought conditions last year, therefore average precipitation will not be enough to recharge soil moisture this year," Kelly said.
Kelly added that cattle producers in central South Dakota who had normal precipitation last year need to keep a very close eye on precipitation and grass conditions for the rest of this spring.
"Producers in these areas need to have a drought management action plan in place if dry conditions persist and a reduction in livestock numbers is needed," Kelly said.
Roughly May 15 is another trigger date Kelly encouraged cattle and forage producers to be aware of.

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