Ranchers and cattle producers in the midst of severe or worse drought conditions may soon have to make some tough decisions about the fate of their herd.  University of Missouri Extension beef specialist Eric Bailey says several farms in Southwest Missouri are already reducing their numbers.

Bailey says with pastures already dry and some farmers tapping into their winter feed supply, unless needed rainfall arrives soon, producers may have to make that tough decision to send a portion of their herd to market.

Bailey adds that MU Extension is hosting a series of meetings starting Tuesday around Southwest Missouri to give farmers the latest advice on dealing with the conditions.  Extension has a dedicated section of their website with tips and resources available for farmers experiencing drought conditions.