Steelman Advises Farmers To Make Drought Preparations

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Bruce Steelman, Cannon County Extension Agent, is advising local farmers to make preparations in the event current drought conditions continue.

"If you own or raise livestock, please take a few minutes to consider the possibility that the dry weather that we have experienced across the state will continue," Steelman said.

According to the National Drought Summary,  Tennessee is reported to be abnormally dry in the East and Middle Tennessee areas and experiencing moderately dry conditions in the Western part of the state.

Future forecasts indicate that the dry weather can continue through December. A long range weather outlook, published by Dr. Art Douglas of Creighton University, for CattleFax, shows the Eastern part of the country, including the Southeast, will experience above-average temperatures and reduced precipitation  through December.

Temperatures are anticipated to be two degrees higher and rainfall is expected to be 80% of normal.

The Knoxville area is still more than 5 inches below normal rainfall.

"Let me encourage you to check the forecasted weather from the U.S. Drought Monitor at and also go to the Department of Animal Science web site at

In addition, the entire series of fact sheets on cattle and forage management during droughts can be accessed by a link on the “home page” under News and Events.

"I do not intend to be a 'chicken little,' but you might consider ways to be prepared for the possibility that the forecasters are on target. Make management decisions that would have a positive effect on your cattle operations.  If the moisture conditions improve, we will all be in a better state of affairs," Steelman said.
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Members Opinions:
October 22, 2010 at 5:00am
Serious shortage of rainfall can greatly affect the bottom line status of farming operations-not only cattle but row crop and other farm endeavers.
Fortunately for farmers, the USDA through its farm subsidy program, can offset and/or mitigate some of these losses.
The $10,839,000 subsidy dollars paid to farmers in Cannon County included $1,818,000 paid to 476 farmers for losses due disasters, including servere drought conditions that adversely affected dairy, hay and beef cattle operations.
These payments range from a high of $100,000 to almost nothing.
While there is a growing concern by some about the profilgate spending of our tax dollars and the burgeoning national deficit, there seems to be no hesitation by those who denounce that spending, to fill out the paperwork and receive subsidy dollars for their farming operations.

A complet list of farmers receiving assistance through USDA subsidy programs can be found at
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