Drought Consequences for Cow-Calf Production in Wyoming: 2011—2014

Scasta, John D.
Windh, Jessica L.
Smith, Travis
Baumgartner, Bob
Society for Range Management
Publication Year: 
On the Ground• Drought reduces forage quantity and carryingcapacity, but reductions in cow-calf performancemeasured by calf average daily gain (ADG) andweaning weight (WW) are less understood.• From 2011 to 2014, a period with very dry and verywet years, we assessed an adjusted 210 day WWand ADG for a total of 869 calves on two Universityof Wyoming ranches.• We foundWWwas up to 99 pounds (lb) lower, andADG was up to 0.47 lb lower between the driestand wettest years.• For each one inch reduction in precipitation, WWare predicted to be 7 lb to 14 lb lower, ADG isexpected to be 0.03 lb to 0.07 lb lower, and dollarper head values $12 to $27 lower, depending oncalf sex and ranch location.• If drought occurs, or continues to escalate infrequency and severity, WW reductions, ADGreductions, and value per head reductions shouldbe expected and documented for strategic planningand/or compensation programs.Keywords: beef, climate, precipitation, weaningweights, weather.
Document Type: 
Journal Issue/Article
Society for Range Management

Rangelands, a publication of the Society for Range Management, serves as a forum for the presentation and discussion of facts, ideas, and philosophies pertaining to the study, management, and use of rangelands. The journal features scientific and historical articles as well as Society news. It provides readers with scientifically accurate information in a user-friendly format, placed in context of the world we live in today. Rangelands is a practical (non-technical) counterpart of Rangeland Ecology & Management (formerly the Journal of Range Management). The Global Rangelands collection includes articles from Rangelands up to 3 years from the current year. Access to more recent content is available by subscription from BioOne and the Society for Range Management and may also be available at your local university library. 
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