Man, I hate it when it’s too dry.
When you have cold winter temps.. you kind of figure on it, prepare, have feed available or the means to get it. And if it doesn’t get cold and stay that way for a long time, so much the better.
When you have drought, even if you have planned for it, it still ain’t no fun. You can’t just haul in more pasture.
If it is not real widespread, you might be able to effectively afford to ship cattle to an area with abundant grass for grazing. But usually the abundance is a long ways away and it really isn’t economically possible. You can sort off the best of your pairs or replacement heifers and send them away for awhile and sell down the rest. It never seems to work to good for some reason. Most cattle have been bred for the environment they live in. In this area, moderate rain fall, short grass, high protein. If you ship them out, it is to an area with higher rainfall, more lush feed with lower protein content. They can adapt.. but when you try to bring them back to a more desert area, it just never seems to work very good.
The last time we were bad dry, a neighbor shipped his older cows off to the corn country and had them wintered. He sold the ones he thought were the poorer half and brought the other half home, in the spring. Tho’ many of us had been telling him his cows had gotten much bigger than he thought they were, that was the first time he had proof of it. The ones he sold amazed him how much they weighed. They had been eating ample feed and really filled out and did well. He was shocked. I never did hear how the cows he brought home did. But my guess is they worked themselves out of the herd within a few years. Hard to take a skinny cow that has been fat and get her to cycle and breed back.
I am not sure how we will survive this dry spell. We have been doing it since my ancestors settled here at the turn of the century. In the past we have bought expensive feed to get by. It didn’t work. Then we sold down the next time. That wasn’t a good plan either. As an older rancher who is a bit of a cattle trader told me, “There is no right plan during a drought”. I guess he is right.
I am sure glad God has it all figured out. As I am just muddling along. But I have faith it will all work out according to His plan. Just kind of wish He’d let me in on it!
Here is hoping everyone gets some good rains to help out!