Nearly four in 10 U.S. dairy cows were located in “drought areas” at the start of October, according to the USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board.
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The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map (Figure 1) indicates about 39% of U.S. dairy cows were in drought areas as of Oct. 5, down about 3% from a month earlier and well below the peak of 63% last June.

The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor maps overlay areas experiencing drought with major production areas for hay, alfalfa hay, corn, soybeans and other crops, as well as primary dairy and beef cattle areas.

Of additional concern to dairy and beef producers, about 39% of U.S. hay-producing acreage was considered under drought conditions at the start of October, up 3% from early September. The area of drought-impacted alfalfa acreage improved 1% over the past month but still stands at 62%. Improving conditions in southwestern Minnesota, Virgina and West Virginia were offset by worsening drought in Oklahoma, northern Texas and portions of Colorado.

In this week’s dairy segment, That’s Farming, speaks to Evan Walsh, a farmer from Offaly. He discusses split calving, calving heifers at 24-months, using 100% AI, zero-grazing, achieving 600-700kgs of milk solids and expansion plans.

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