Jimmy and Ginger Emmons press on from the Rhea Fire knowing it cannot overpower the agriculture community’s spirit or the soil’s ability to give life.
Pasture managers may dread droughts. However, with proper planning and preparation, they can minimize the damage and keep operations running smoothly.
Drought is the most crucial constraint to crop productivity. Most of Earth’s surface area is not suitable for crop production due to severe water limitations, and the scenario is likely to get worse especially in the southern Midwest and southeastern United States. Recent climate models suggest an increase in aridity in many areas of the world. More than 35 percent of the world’s land is considered arid or semiarid. Even in areas of high rainfall, crops experience water stress due to uneven rainfall distribution. Drought can cause significant crop yield loss and under severe conditions up to 100 percent crop loss is experienced.
Many land managers incorporate prescribed fires into a management plan alongside grazing livestock. Other land managers feel it is not feasible to graze and burn on the same operation. But when prescribed fire is used strategically, its benefits outweigh any negatives.
Jeffrey Reuter is keeping an eye on his forage and hay resources as drought continues in Oklahoma.
Portions of the Southern Great Plains received rain in late February, however many areas are still behind in precipitation or did not receive enough rain to completely alleviate drought conditions.
Noble Research Institute agricultural consultants share their top tips for managing through a drought.
Producers should have contingency plans in place to make decision-making easier as drought conditions worsen.
Farmers and ranchers in the Southern Great Plains are in a drought with conditions worsening since November.