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ASHDOWN, Ark. -- No matter how harsh winter is, there are no snow days for Arkansas’
A week that saw record low temperatures and freezing rain that gave even the grass
a glassy, slick coating didn’t give ranchers any time off.
“We had to break ice so cattle could get water, something we haven't done in years,”
said Joe Paul Stuart, Little River County extension staff chair for the University
of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “All of our water hoses froze too!”
When it gets cold, cattle need to consume more hay and calories to stay warm.
“Hay consumption increased around 25 percent for several days, but most producers
have plenty of hay this year,” he said.
Tough on calvesIn Nevada County, Extension Staff Chair Melissa Beck, said “we have been very wet
and I'm noticing our calves dealing with mud in our cool season annual pastures. They're
mucking around in the mud pretty badly.” Stuart said he’s heard more reports of scours, or calf diarrhea, and respiratory problems
in calves. “Really wet conditions usually cause the scour problem,” he said.
Hard on foragesThe bitter cold has been hard on winter forages too.
Stuart said he’s seen “some damage to cool season pastures; ryegrass, wheat and some
fescue was bit back. I think most will recover with warmer conditions.” He also didn’t
think that winter wheat in his county would suffer damage.
Beck said that in her county, “the cool temperatures have also slowed the cool season
forages' re-growth rate to the point we are supplementing with hay and feed more than
we've had to in the past several years.”
However, in rice, cotton and soybean country “other than heating bills I think all
is well,” said Ray Benson, Mississippi County extension staff chair.
For more information on cattle production, contact your county extension office, or
visit www.uaex.uada.edu. Please note that many links to extension publications and other information will
be changing this spring as the extension service renovates its site.
The Cooperative Extension Service is part of the University of Arkansas System Division
of Agriculture and offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race,
color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, marital or veteran status,
or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity
January 9, 2014
By Mary Hightower The Cooperative Extension ServiceUofA System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Mary HightowerExtension Communications SpecialistU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) email@example.com