Seminar offering drought management information

Argen Duncan

Farmers and ranchers dealing with drought have a chance to gain management information with a seminar scheduled for Monday.

Admission is free, and no preregistration is required. The drought-management workshop is geared toward local agricultural producers.

“There’s times you need a little more information to make a decision, and I’m hoping some of the things that are covered will help them feel more comfortable about a decision they’re making or help them go ahead with a decision they were thinking about,” said Roosevelt County Extension Agent Patrick Kircher.

Speakers are agronomist Mark Marsalis and range specialist Nick Ashcroft, both of the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service, and beef cattle specialist Ted McCollum of Texas AgriLife Extension.

Marsalis, who researches forage crops at the NMSU Agricultural Science Center at Clovis, said with the extended weather forecast indicating continued lack of precipitation, he would talk about considerations and planting practices for next spring.

Marsalis plans to cover mainly forage crops — wheat, silage and hay. He thinks the biggest need is forage due to the shortage there and dairies struggling to find feed.

“If they can produce something, they’re probably better off producing a forage crop,” Marsalis said.

He also planned to discuss reducing crop inputs based on what nature has or hasn’t provided.

In addition, Marsalis said many farmers have limited irrigation capacity and so count on rain for their crops. This year, the precipitation didn’t come, and Marsalis plans to bring up considerations for if that happens again next year.

Kircher said McCollum would discuss cow management, feeding, early weaning of calves, selling and re-stocking. McCollum’s talk will be “just in general, a really well-rounded look at the (beef) cattle side of it,” Kircher said.

Ashcroft is to talk about the affect of drought on the range now and in the future, management and projections of where the drought will continue.