"Producers really need to keep track of where they are with that and not be caught in a short supply when they have no time to react to it."
One management practice Johnson suggested is to limit animals' hay access time to 8-12 hours a day instead of 24. Doing so is more labor-intensive, but reduces hay waste.
"Yes, it's an extra hassle to do that, but in dire times producers have to be willing to take some extra steps if they want to keep as much of the livestock operation intact as possible," he said.
Other options include looking to other feed resources, such as crop residues left over from corn harvest, or even the drought-stressed corn crop that might not have grain potential.
"Once cleared by crop insurance adjusters, corn farmers and livestock producers could potentially make transactions to turn that corn into a silage crop," Johnson said. "An option certainly is to cull the herd, but if we are wise about this, we can look to other resources."