The National Drought Mitigation Center has a new website titled “Managing Drought Risk on the Ranch,” to help livestock producers develop drought plans.
The NDMC developed the site in collaboration with University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension researchers and consultation with ranchers, federal grazing experts, South Dakota State University and Texas A&M University. The project was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency. “There’s a lot of information out there for livestock and forage producers on how to mitigate and respond to drought,” said Cody Knutson, the NDMC researcher who led the project. “This brings it all together in one spot so ranchers can learn what to do before, during and after a drought.”
“A lot of people will say ranchers should have a plan for drought, without a framework of what that should be,” said Tonya Haigh, an NDMC researcher who helped assemble the site. “Now we’re giving them a framework. The website also conveys how and why the different pieces of the plan are so important, and how planning during non-drought years can lead to fewer impacts during drought years.”
The website is designed to take users through the steps of developing a ranch drought plan: assembling a planning team, identifying goals and objectives, inventorying resources, setting critical dates, developing a monitoring system, identifying strategies for preparing for and managing through drought, and implementing and evaluating the plan. Each step includes links to resources, tools and worksheets. Managing “Drought Risk on the Ranch” is online at www.drought.unl.edu/ranchplan.