Farmers and ranchers can mitigate the impacts of drought with drought plans and conservation systems

USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service is helping to mitigate the impacts of drought across the nation. With good drought plans and conservation systems, farmers and ranchers are better equipped to manage dry and other extreme weather.

NRCS hydrologists are predicting continued drought for the western part of the nation and other states may also be facing dry conditions. However, even if your area is not affected by drought, it is still important to have a plan for continued conservation.

To aid conservation efforts in croplands, residents are advised to take the following steps:

• Minimize tillage as much as possible—no tillage is ideal
• Keep soil covered
• Consider killing cover crops off a couple weeks before planting
• For crops that take supplemental nitrogen—scale back nitrogen to expected yield
• If rain isn’t expected, inject fertilizer so it comes into contact with more soil moisture

And to aid conservation in rangelands, residents are advised to take these following steps:

• Have a drought plan in place and follow it
• Don’t overgraze
• Find alternative feeds and forages
• Improve water resources
• Cull herds

When creating a drought plan, residents should consider the kinds and conditions of their resources, and should also consider how crops, forage and other resources have reacted to drought in the past.

NRCS provides information on land, water and crop management options for drought plans. New drought information is provided each Monday at www.nrcs.usda.gov

Read here for more drought information

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