Want to Know How Much Forage You’ll Have This Summer? Check Out Grass-Cast

Every spring, ranchers face the same difficult challenge—trying to guess how much grass will be available for livestock to graze during the upcoming summer. Now an innovative new Grassland Productivity Forecast or “Grass-Cast” has published its first forecast to help producers in the Northern Great Plains reduce this economically important source of uncertainty. This new, experimental grassland forecast is the result of a collaboration between the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Colorado State University, the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC), USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS),and the University of Arizona. While researchers continue to improve Grass-Cast, they decided to release it this spring because predictions for some parts of the Northern Great Plains looked quite grim and they wanted producers to be able to use it to help make important decisions How Does It Work? Grass-Cast uses over 30 years of historical data about weather and vegetation growth—combined with seasonal precipitation forecasts—to predict if rangelands in individual counties are likely to produce above-normal, near-normal, or below-normal amounts of vegetation for grazing. Forecasts are updated every two weeks to incorporate newly observed weather data and emerging trends in grazing conditions, such as changes caused by flash drought, like what happened in 2017 in the western Dakotas and eastern Montana.  Its accuracy depends on how far into the future

All the grazing management tips you need

Subscribe to read this article and over 2,500 more!

Subscribe today!

If you're already a subscriber, log in here.

Translate »