Drought Happens. How will you respond?
How can you minimize the impacts to your operation? Being proactive can reduce the impact of drought on your operation and the natural resources on which it depends.
- While predicting drought is imperfect, these resources provide more information to ranchers than ever available before to help managers make informed decisions.
- NOAA’s Monthly Drought Outlook
- NOAA’s one and three-month temperature and precipitation probability outlooks
- Western Water Assessment Intermountain West Climate Dashboard – Example at right! Visually summarize regional trends in drought, precipitation, snowpack, etc., and make your own map.
Have a plan and set critical dates for making decisions.
- The National Drought Mitigation Center provides resources for planning for drought and a Handbook.
- Drought planning steps identified at “A Drought-Planning Methodology for Ranchers in the Great Plains” by Cory Knutson and Tonya Haigh
- Webinars and presentations on the drought planning process
Consider strategies to increase flexibility and reduce risk.
- Strategies may include 1) setting a conservative stocking rate, 2) adding yearling livestock to cow-calf operations, or 3) setting aside a pasture as a grass-banking strategy.
- More Information available at: Adaptive Management for Drought on Rangelands by Justin Derner and David Augustine
- See resources from our 2018 Drought Planning Workshops serving western Colorado and the 4-Corners areas or visit our drought resources page.
- Workshops and Webinars from the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln
- Understand how plants respond to drought with Managing Before, After, and During, Drought by Larry Howery, University of Arizona Extension Specialist