Continued drought could lead to culling herds

Beef producers might start considering culling options in case drought conditions continue to decrease forage and hay availability.

Drought advanced rapidly across Oklahoma in July. At the end of June, the Drought Monitor showed that 30.76 percent of the state was in some stage of drought (D1-D4), with another 15.15 percent abnormally dry (D0). 

Four weeks later, the July 26 Drought Monitor map showed that 100 percent of the state was dry, with 99.81 percent in some stage of drought. In fact, 92.11 percent of the state was in severe drought (D2) or worse. The northern third of Oklahoma received good rains of up to 3 inches recently. This will briefly push back drought conditions in that region, but triple-digit temperatures are forecast to return in August, and little follow-up rain is in the forecast as far as forecasts reach into the first half of August. Cattle producers will continue to face tough decisions in the coming weeks.

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