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Meetings focus on longterm impact of drought

By Tim Baker
Horticulture Special
University of Missouri Extension Service

In response to the drought, the University of Missouri Agricultural Specialists of Northwest Missouri are planning a series of meetings for agricultural producers to be held at seven locations in our region during the first two weeks of November. Meetings will be held in Albany, Cameron, Maryville, Trenton, St. Joseph, Chillicothe and Mound City.
Meeting locations and contact information can be found at: http://extension.missouri.edu/nwregion/hort/current/drought3.shtml.  If you do not have access to the web, please feel free to give me a call at 660-663-3232.
Each meeting will start at 10 a.m. and end by 3 p.m. There will be a $10 charge for lunch and handout materials. It is requested that you pre-register three days before the meeting you choose to attend so we can have an accurate count for lunch.
So why have a meeting on the drought?  What kind of topics will we address?  Our overall goal is to help agricultural producers in their decision-making process for the coming year.
Livestock producers, for example, are seeking ways to find feed for their cattle. Unfortunately, water supplies are also short in many instances. Most row crop producers experienced low corn and soybean yields, and often did not cover expenses.
As we move forward into the next year, there is a high risk that the drought will continue.  Even if we receive sufficient rainfall, there is a shortage of forage, with high grain prices impacting livestock producers. Row crop producers may deal with herbicide carryover injuring next year’s crops along with the impact of nutrients left in the soil.
The MU Agricultural Specialists will be addressing topics such as the winter and long-term weather outlook, managing the beef herd through drought, using available forages, early spring forages to get us to spring grasses, water systems, temporary feed storage, no-till, financial impacts of drought and how to adjust, impact of drought on perennial plants around the farmstead, herbicide carryover, fertilizer carryover, aflatoxin and other county Extension resources.
We are entering a period of uncertainty for agricultural producers. Even if the drought ends, the ramifications of our dry summer will follow us into 2013. If the drought continues, the decision-making process for 2013 will be even more complex.  This meeting will be a good opportunity for agricultural producers to seek options as we move through this period of uncertainty.

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