BEEF Daily

Check Out Our Drought Management Page


Special topic page provides comprehensive news and information on the ongoing drought.

Economists are calling this the worst drought since 1956. Consumers will soon be paying top-dollar for their groceries as the corn crop sizzles, and ranchers cull their cows as feed resources run short. According to the National Climatic Data Center, 55% of the country is in a moderate to extreme drought as of the end of June.

To assist cattlemen in managing through drought conditions and planning ahead as feed prices climb and pasture resources dwindle, BEEF editors have put together a Drought Management Resources page.

“The 2012 growing season started out promising, with an early planting season, good moisture, and some relief in last summer’s drought-ravaged Southwest. But Mother Nature had other plans and summer 2012 is shaping up to be a challenging one for Midwest crop growers and livestock producers in general. USDA reported in early July that half of all U.S. pastures are in poor or very poor condition. As pasture dwindles, cattle in some hard-hit areas are going to town, while other producers hope to buy time by feeding winter hay. Severe drought in the Midwest, which was forecast earlier this spring to produce a record crop, has played havoc with grain markets. The July 15 corn cash price (Omaha Basis) is near $7.50/bu., and soybean meal is up 36% over last year, while hay prices continue to post new highs.”

The page offers links to several resources including the U.S. Drought Monitor and the FSA Disaster Assistance Program, as well as some of our top reads on the drought. Check the page often as we will continue to update and add additional information to help you weather the drought.

How is the drought impacting your operation? What steps are you taking? Will you continue to feed your cattle or will you cull your herd?

Discuss this Blog Entry 4

Shaun Evertson (not verified)
on Jul 18, 2012

Food prices have been rising since the RFA became law. Since that time corn price has been coupled to the energy sector rather than the ag sector. Corn market manipulation produces the unintended (?) consequence of raising other commodity prices, and therefore, food prices. The present drought will cause short-term volatility but will have little real impact on the price of food. The food price inflation culprit is not the drought, it's flawed energy policy. Blaming the drought is the non-ag media's narrative. I submit that the ag media should explain the economics of food price inflation rather than support the flawed narrative.

Kevin (not verified)
on Jul 18, 2012

"But Mother Nature had other plans" Or God. I think maybe this country has ignored him too long.

ELrod (not verified)
on Jul 18, 2012

Speak for yourself. Conversations with the invisible one have been ongoing since birth. The thing ignored is common sense and the truth when its put before our eyes. Learn to cooperate with your land not industrialize it until spent and worthless.

Clinton Lambotte (not verified)
on Jul 18, 2012

We will be looking at the Cow herd as a whole for cows that we think are not cutting it. We are looking at some of the pastures for hay spots as cattle tend to graze some areas and not others (we aren't so dry that the cows are eating anything they can find) because we burn the pastures of in the spring so why not cut the areas that the cows aren't eating instead of burning it up next spring.

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What's BEEF Daily?

BEEF Daily Blog is produced by rancher Amanda Radke, one of the U.S. beef industry’s top social media “agvocates.”


Amanda Radke

Amanda Radke is a fifth generation rancher from Mitchell, S.D., who has dedicated her career to serving as a voice for the nation’s beef producers. A 2009 graduate of South Dakota State...

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