Drought Survival Tip: Don’t forget about water developments to offset the need for hay
Posted on: Sep 26, 2012
A client recently fed 100 tons of hay to cattle at a cost of $15,000. Based on herd size and class of livestock, those 100 tons represented 6666 animal days worth of feed.
Meanwhile, a nearby pasture containing 7500 animal days worth of high-quality grass stood empty because of inadequate stock water. This pasture had been paid for long ago, but the hay bill represented an unplanned expense. Had that $15,000 gone into stock water developments (only a pipeline extension and extra stock tanks are needed in this case), the infrastructure development would have paid for itself in one year. Then, the pasture would have provided reliable forage for many years to come, thus offsetting the need to feed hay.
Take home lesson: in dry times, don't forget about developing stock water to get cattle onto standing forage. When running the figures, you may find infrastructure developments are much less costly than hay.