Drought limits pasture conditions in Kansas, producer says he could run out of feed
Feed supplies are already tight, and a Central Kansas cattle producer says it could get worse if he doesn’t get rain.
“They need some groceries. Everybody is feeding cattle on grass already.”
Keith Miller tells Brownfield pastures are burning up. “We haven’t had (any) moisture to amount to anything for about a month and grass has turned completely brown.”
The latest crop progress and condition report says pasture and range conditions are rated 54 percent poor-to-very poor.
He says corn silage is in short supply. “I bought 500 ton yesterday so I can feed my cows. My silage is only about 3-and-a-half-foot ton right now. I don’t think it’s going to make a lot of tons.”
Miller says he’s hauling feed to part of his herd that’s an hour away. “The cows are starting to be trouble trying to get out. We’ve went around all of our fences again because they’re reaching through the fences. The road ditches are greener than the pastures.”
And, he says, the hay market is the tightest he’s ever seen it.
He says his most crops have been lost to extreme drought. “Most of the dryland corn is going into the silo. Dryland milo is really showing it. Dryland beans – if we don’t rain within the next week, they won’t make it.”
The USDA says 30 percent of corn is rated good-to-excellent and soybeans are 41 percent good-to-excellent.
But, Miller tells Brownfield, there’s hope for irrigated crops. “Irrigate for the most part, if you have decent wells, they’re keeping up. I’ve got a little bit of irrigated corn and it looks pretty good. But we haven’t shut the well off in the last three weeks and we’re going to run out of water. That’s an issue. Usually you get a rain to help you.”
Cotton condition is rated 32 percent good-to-excellent.