University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Science and other state specialist will be in Calhoun Monday for an emergency drought management meeting for livestock producers.
The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at the Gordon County Farm Bureau meeting room, located on Ga. 53, across the street from the Calhoun Super Wal-mart.
Click here for more information about the droughts impact on livestock farmers from Georgia Forages.
We are currently close to 20 inches behind our rainfall average, said Steve Moraitakis, Gordon County extension agent. Its gotten to the point of being critical for livestock growers.
The meeting will begin with an overview of the drought situation followed by a weather situation report and outlook.
Representatives of UGAs meteorology will be here to give a long-range forecast, Moraitakis said.
Additional topics will include economic considerations such as: How long do I hold on?, economics of sell now or later/marketing strategies, and tax implications of weather forced sales.
I would encourage all farmers to attend, said Keith Mickler, UGA Extension Service agent for Floyd County. Were going to discuss how to hold on and when you should stop.
Mickler described the event as a sharing session with information being presented and addressing questions and concerns of local farmers.
An expert will be on hand to discuss foraging-related topics like summer annuals, overgrazing/stand-loss and planning for fall/winter.
An animal science nutrition specialist will be present to discuss feeding and management, feeding options, and other management considerations. Plus, there will be a panel for a question-and-answer session.
The situation has gotten pretty bad for a lot of producers, Moraitakis said. A lot of our farmers who cut hay are reporting that they have gotten only about 50 percent of their normal crop, and with no moisture, its not looking good for a second cutting.
And, if rain doesnt come soon, existing grass will start dying off and will have to be re-established, he said. A lot of farmers are waiting to plant grass, and if it rains in the next couple of weeks, they can, he said.
Cattle producers who feed hay to their livestock have had to feed more hay as grazing dries up, opening the possibility that they will be short of hay in the fall, Moraitakis said.
We are trying to help them come up with a plan to get through this drought, he said.
Mondays meeting is open to anyone interested in attending, including producers in nearby counties, Moraitakis said.