Bruce, You commented
"Could the Confederacy have adopted this scorched-earth strategy in the Cis-MS?"
The problem with the lack of forage in the Trans-Miss. had little to do with any designed plan of the Confederates. It was God that did that.
The reason that forage was so scarce is that the summer of 1862 and again in 1863 Arkansas suffered in a severe drought. The Arkansas River was a some of it lowest level then known. The only food producing area of any size was along the Arkansas River where crops could be irrigated. This is one of the reason that the lower Arkansas River Valley was so important and had to be held at all cost was because of the corn crops in the river delta. For example the burning of Corn by the federals during the Arkansas Post Campaign.
This food source was so important that President Jefferson Davis commented in the OR's in the fall of 1863 to Kirby Smith that the recapture of the Lower Arkansas was vital to any expedition north of the Arkansas Border into Missouri. This could possibly have been some of the reason for the Battle of Pine Bluff in Oct. 1863.
Henry Merrill in his biography stated that if the lower Arkansas River Valley was lost there was no food north of the Red River.
This is one of the factors that has failed to be accounted for in most historians evaluations off the Military situation especially in Arkansas. Everyone id s somewhat aware of the lack of forage by both armies recounted in various documents and sources. Hardly anyone takes into account the effects of long term weather events as being the cause of this problem and the methods taken to offset this problem.
General Weather played a very big part in the War in Arkansas in 1862 - 63.