BEEF Daily

Has Your Area Had Drought Relief This Winter?


This week’s poll asks, “Has winter helped your moisture situation?”

Cattlemen are sure an optimistic group. At every cattle sale I’ve attended so far this winter, the prices of bulls and bred heifers have been stellar. Despite the worst drought we’ve seen in 50 years, it looks like ranchers are either confident it’s going to rain or have stockpiled enough roughage to get through another year. 

Even though drought, feed prices and feed availability have forced a continued downsizing in the national cowherd, surveys show most producers are very optimistic about the future. And I believe that the high prices we are seeing in the spring livestock sales are evidence of that.

In my area, we’ve had an unusually mild and open winter, with the exception of a few snowstorms. In February, we received about 10 in. of snow, and this past weekend, we received another 3 in. of rain, as well as a couple of inches of snow. We are excited that our stock dams have filled up, and hopeful that even though the ground is frozen, that some of that moisture is able to soak into the soil. 


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I continue to pray for some additional timely rains this spring, so we can get a decent hay crop and have some green grass for summer grazing.

This week’s online poll at asks, “Has winter helped your moisture situation?”

With 83 votes so far, 35% say “definitely,” while another 34% say “somewhat.” In addition, 24% say “very little,” and 7% say “not at all.”

How are you sitting for moisture? Vote in the poll, and let us know how much rain or snow you’ve received in your neck of the woods by reporting in the comments section below.


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Discuss this Blog Entry 4

Steve Lucas (not verified)
on Mar 12, 2013

It's getting better here in the mid-Atlantic. The precipitation numbers claim we are ahead for the year, but still behind after last year. A good aspect is we aren't cutting up the fields when we check/ feed as we would in a normal winter. We quit feeding hay yesterday (about 60 days on hay) which is 10 days longer than last year to a degree because of less quantity/quality of stockpiled fescue a result of the dry summer. High feeder prices make me glad I'm a calf seller, not a buyer.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Mar 12, 2013

Here in central texas we are in extreme drought like we have been for five of the last seven years. A lot of the older ranchers have sold out. A lot of creeks and earth tanks have gone dry and we have to set up water troughs at the landowners homes. It is hard to rotate pastures without water in them. LOOKING FOR RAIN. RODNEY

Bob Mudd (not verified)
on Mar 12, 2013

On our remote Island Ranch in the North Pacific Ocean we have had a very mild winter but moisture here is never short so we always have lots of grass for our year around grazing.

terry bunch (not verified)
on Mar 12, 2013

In north ga we are completely out of drought we was d2 in october now d0 .The ground is really wet we just need some warm sunshine.

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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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