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Beat the heat

Jeff Caldwell 08/02/2011 @ 12:51pm Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

Heat records are being broken around the nation's midsection, and add to that some extremely dry conditions in some parts of the region, and you've got a recipe for disaster for both crops and livestock.

"It's tough to say what corn yield will be like around here just yet. A nice rain could change things quickly but we are running out of time. If we don't get a rain very soon there wont be much to harvest," says Agriculture.com Marketing Talk member Blacksandfarmer, who farms in southern Michigan. "Corn is starting to stay curled during the night which is usually the beginning of the end."

Adds Marketing Talk member puffster: "Grass is disappearing more each day. Most double-stock cattle are leaving early, with the protein dropping and feed value leaving the pastures quickly. We are starting to ship next week. Our pastures should be empty in a couple of weeks. Beans are looking stressed to the max now. Corn is shot. Corn is too cheap. Wheat acres will be a challenge to be planted with no moisture at all."

Check out a few helpful tips and ideas to help your crops and livestock beat the heat.

How's the heat wave affecting your farm? If you're a corn farmer, you've probably watched your fields take a yield hit from the surging temperatures and spotty rainfall. Or if you raise cattle, you may be having trouble keeping your herd healthy.

With temperatures expected to reach dangerous highs this week in the middle of the country, Iowa State University (ISU) Extension beef veterinarian Grant Dewell urges beef cattle producers to prepare for these weather conditions to maintain herd health.

The heat wave gripping the Plains and Midwest this summer has taken a major toll on the nation's cattle herd. Pasture and other feedstocks are in seriously short supply, causing producers to market cattle earlier than they normally would.



     

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