When it comes to withstanding drought, the best defence is a good offence. Drought planning and preparation is best done in advance. While that may be little comfort to producers currently coping with dry conditions, there are many strategies that can help farmers prepare for the long-term or help them to recover their drought-ravaged resources in the coming seasons.
The Beef Cattle Research Council on how a plan for drought management must include planning for and consideration of how drought will affect the entire system – including plants, livestock and water sources.
Whether in the form of pasture, stored forage, or supplements, feed is the largest variable input cost in cow-calf operations. A big challenge is to feed the cow in a way that meets her current and future nutritional requirements for maintenance, lactation, maintaining a successful pregnancy, giving birth and getting rebred within 80-85 days of calving as cost effectively as possible. This challenge is obviously much greater during drought, when feed is scarce and expensive.
Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for mostly rural areas of east central and southeast Alberta. Temperatures are expected to top 29C to 32C for daytime highs for longer than a week, an unusually long duration for such a heat wave.