Moisture could impact animal health after multi-year drought

A Nebraska rancher says the weather went from too dry to too wet and her grasslands could be impacted.

Jaclyn Wilson says the Sandhills have received numerous small rains, which has greened up pastures, but negatively affected its nutritional value. “During a drought your protein levels remain the same, so you get too much excessive moisture and your protein levels drop. There’s definitely some issues there with plant nutrition in general. Not only that, but the palatability of the plant, and how the digestibility of it too comes into effect on that.”

She tells Brownfield it can impact animal health like lowering weaning rates and breeding percentages. “That’s a concern for us when we start to analyze it from a nutritional perspective and is our nutritional program up to date. Are we able to compensate for that nutrition in our plants by maybe changing our mineral program around or maybe working on our grazing rotations just a little bit different?”

Wilson says she hasn’t made any changes yet, but if rains continue, that will need to happen immediately.

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