Oklahoma's Latest Farm
And Ranch News
Tuesday, May 24, 2022
Dr. Derrell Peel Talks Critical Conditions for May Forage
Mondays, Dr. Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist, offers his economic analysis of the beef cattle industry. This week, Dr. Peel talks about the May forage critical conditions.

"In the past week I have driven across Nebraska, northern Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. It is springtime in the region and pastures and rangeland are trying to begin growing. However, the green up is muted because of dry conditions, with little forage growth evident in many areas. The limited greening of rangelands will fizzle quickly in the coming weeks without immediate moisture. In a newsletter article three weeks ago, I discussed the implications for the beef cow herd inventory given the current drought conditions (Cow-Calf Corner “The Cow Herd Numbers Game”). The article ended by saying that the next few weeks would be critical regarding the drought.

"Each passing week is indeed critical and by any measure, the U.S. is in the worst condition now of any May, in at least the last 35 years. The Latest Drought Monitor has a Drought Severity and Coverage Index (DSCI) of 183 (out of 500 possible) for the nation, the highest DSCI in mid-May for any year of the data back to 2000. This includes over 63 percent of the country abnormally dry or worse, with 21.6 percent of the country in extreme (D3) to exceptional drought (D4). USDA reported pasture and range conditions starting in May have the highest percentage of poor to very poor conditions this year in data back to 1995."

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