As painful as droughts can be, making a drought management plan can help your ranch emerge stronger and more resilient on the other side (originally published in Noble Rancher).
Nearly one-third of the contiguous United States experienced severe to extreme drought in 2022, according to the Palmer Drought Index. By the end of August 2022, about 40% fell in the moderate-to-extreme drought category.
Like most who have lived and worked in the Great Plains for any amount of time, Steve Swaffar has experienced the cyclical nature of drought. The ag consultant for Noble Research Institute has walked alongside plenty of ranchers who suffer through the devastating effects on land and livelihood, but he’s also seen many others thrive on the other side.
“In some cases, drought can be a bit of an opportunity,” Swaffar says. “It’s an opportunity to make change, because times are already tough. So, the tough get tougher, right?”
Here are three steps to take today to emerge stronger next spring.