Most of you know I work with the USDA Southern Plains Climate Hub. One of our main goals at the Hub is to try and provide farmers and ranchers the information they need to better deal with extreme weather events like droughts and floods.
So, when extreme drought conditions began to form over the Southern Plains region toward the end of June, we began working with NOAA and the state climatologists in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas on potential outreach strategies to help get drought information into the hands of producers.
During our initial conference call on this project, Gary McManus, the state climatologist from Oklahoma, said he was glad we’re doing this because “we need to realize that as soon as we start talking about the drought, it’s going to rain.”
Last week, NOAA published their first Southern Plains drought update that combined information from each state effected by the extremely dry weather. Sure enough, just as Gary predicted, it rained in many of the areas covered by this report.
All kidding aside, however, there are still areas being impacted by this drought, and with high temperatures and below average precipitation forecast over the next few weeks, chances are it won’t be long until the areas that received this brief reprieve start to dry up again.
With that in mind, we’re going to move forward with drought outreach efforts as we proceed through the next few weeks. We’ll be working with our partners to get more information out the door to hopefully better inform producers of the extreme weather conditions effecting the Southern Plains.
To that end, we’re are posting a new video where Brandon Reavis, Oklahoma NRCS state rangeland management specialist, talks about strategies livestock producers might consider to better prepare for extended droughts. You can check it out here.