How to Prepare Your Land for Drought
One of the most alarming consequences of climate change for farmers in the United States – and around the world – have been longer and more severe droughts. An illustrative example is California, which endured a seven year-long drought that began in December 2011 and did not finally abate until early 2019. Farmers across the country have been struggling in recent years to prepare and reinforce their crops to persevere in an increasingly parched environment.
As experts in providing farmers and agriculturalists with acreage loans, we’re highly familiar with these concerns. Farmers want to know, what can be done to protect land and crops under the looming shadow of future droughts?
To get to the bottom of that question, let’s explore some advice from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
How to Protect Your Farm from a Drought
In light of the increasingly frequent and severe droughts that have been afflicting agricultural operations across the country, the USDA recently released a report which outlines some industry best practices for keeping farms and crops safe in extremely dry conditions.
Here is a summary of the USDA report on protecting farms from drought:
- Water management tips
- Operate an irrigation system which will allow you to use minimal amounts of water.
- Develop strategies for making your irrigation system more efficient and less wasteful.
- Utilize an on-site water storage facility to hold reserves of water.
- Keep track of your water use by implementing water measurement devices.
- Land management tips
- Carefully monitor levels of moisture in your property’s soil.
- Take care to reduce runoff, and carefully direct water to your soil.
- Understand and prepare for the specific forage needs for all of your animals so that you can obtain enough feed material to see them through dry periods.
- Raise animals that will not require large amounts of water.
Looking Towards the Future
No one can say exactly what the future will hold for farmers in the U.S. It’s always possible that new and innovative farming practices and technologies will develop that will help to ameliorate the risks of drought. Until that time, however, it’s always a good idea for farmers to understand the risks of drought and to take proper action to prepare themselves and their farms for the worst. Farm refinancing and ranch operating loans can help farmers obtain the necessary capital to implement water conservation strategies.
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Securing an acreage loan is a great way to financially secure your property. Contact our office today to learn more about acquiring a loan for your farm or ranch!