Cattle graze in a field outside of North English, Iowa, Sept. 13, 2017. USDA Photo by Preston KeresFor drought-plagued producers in the Western U.S., this year cowherd management involves tough decisions around reducing herd numbers. Most of cow-calf producers have a plan for culling decisions related to about 20% of the herd, but as drought and wildfires rage on, grazing resources for the remaining 80% may still be limited.

Forage opportunities outside of grass include annual forages, feeding supplement to stretch pasture grass, early weaning and confinement feeding production cows. For those considering supplementing feed, it’s important to know that added protein will not reduce grass intake but will likely increase it. A wet, high-quality feed like wet distiller’s grains can help meet nutrient needs. Depending on resource allocations, producers are encouraged to look at all feeding options while weathering another drought season.

Read more on feeding during limited grazing options here.