I wanted to take a moment to share a little bit of information that may be helpful during this drought we are experiencing in 2021. Forage and hay is in short supply and when it can be found it is expensive. If you are in need of forage, there are a few places that you can go to look for it. I’ll share a list of those below:
Many counties have opened CRP land for emergency haying and/or grazing. To see which counties have opened for grazing/haying, check out the USDA’s emergency haying and grazing website here.
To get in touch with staff responsible for the management of Wildlife Management Areas, you can check the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s conservation grazing map found here.
To see if there are producers in your region or elsewhere with pasture or cover crops available for grazing, you can check out both of the grazing exchanges available for this region. You can access the Minnesota Cropland Grazing Exchange or the Midwest Grazing Exchange. There will actually be a webinar walking through the Midwest Grazing Exchange this Friday, August 6 at 1pm, you can register for it at https://z.umn.edu/
If you are a producer with an excess of grass right now, consider posting a listing to one or both of these grazing exchanges so that producers in need can find you!
Cornstalks can be a good source of feed and with the dry weather we are having, the risk of compaction from livestock on wet soil is reduced. It can add income to you as a crop producer and reduce feed expenses to the livestock owner. If you are unable to find crop residue to graze in your area, Nebraska has a cropland residue grazing exchange similar to the ones listed about that may be an option to find crop residue in Nebraska. This website can be found here.
There will be a Grazing and Drought Support call on Monday, August 9. See here for more information.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Drought Resources page compiles numerous additional resources.
Also, if you’re able, come to our field day in Menahga, MN on August 17 where we’ll discuss grazing management, and touch a bit on how we can graze specifically in drought conditions. Improving grazing and soil health does not make us drought proof but it can at least help us be a little bit more resilient and capture what little moisture we do get when we get it. You can RSVP for the free field day here!
If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.