Nebraska Drought Resources
Drought Webinar Series Continues Dec. 4
A free monthly webinar series that will explore current research and applications on drought impacts will be held on Wednesdays, beginning at 1 p.m. Central time.
The series is presented by the Engaging Preparedness Communities working group of the National Integrated Drought Information System.
The webinars are free but registration is required. Read more and/or register.
Nov. 6 — The Missing Piece and Field of Dreams, Kirsten Lackstrom, Carolinas Integrated Sciences & Assessments
Dec. 4 — Colorado Water Conservation Board’s Approach to Impacts Assessment, Taryn Finnessey, Colorado Water Conservation Board
Jan. 8 — Citizen Science Observation Networks Kirsten Lackstrom, Carolinas Integrated Sciences & Assessments
Conditions Hold Steady Across the State
The Nov. 26 Drought Monitor shows that drought conditions remained mostly unchanged this week, although there was some improvement in the D0 category.
This week the National Agricultural Statistics Service rated topsoil moisture 5% very short, 20% short, 75% adequate, and 0% surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated 12% very short, 31% short, 57% adequate, and 0 surplus.
Webinar: Pasture and Range Weeds
The severe drought in 2012 coupled with favorable environmental conditions this year have led to an explosion of weedy species in many pastures and rangelands.
Extension Range and Forage Specialist Jerry Volesky recently presented a webinar on this topic and discussed some of the different weed responses that were observed this year along with when, and if, control measures should be applied.
Water Conservation Materials Help Nebraskans Become Water Wise
Many Nebraska communities have instituted water restrictions again this summer after one of the worst droughts in the state's history in 2012. Even where restrictions haven't been imposed, Nebraskans are being encouraged to conserve water whenever possible as drought conditions persist in many parts of the state.
Visit the 2013 Public Water Supply Restrictions page to get the latest list of communities that have issued mandatory or voluntary water use restrictions. The page will be updated regularly throughout the summer.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln experts also have gathered ready-to-use information to help people conserve water, including three newly revised "Make Every Drop Count" publications, new "Water Wise" NebGuides, concise water-wise news articles, water-wise audio recordings, and a 100-Gallon Challenge.
Recycle Graywater to Conserve Water
Conserving water becomes all the more important when supplies are low due to drought.
Graywater — water saved from baths, showers, lavatories and laundering — can be used for irrigating lawns and gardens if treatment regulations to eliminate contaminants are followed.
Watch this video produced by UNL Extension Educators Sharon Skipton and Jan Hygnstrom to learn more about graywater irrigation systems.
Emergency Haying and Grazing of CRP Acres Authorized
(Updated July 22, 4 p.m.)
Farm Service Agency (FSA) Director, Dan Steinkruger, announced that 61 Nebraska counties have been authorized to use Conservation and Reserve Program (CRP) acres for emergency haying and grazing.
The authorization provides emergency relief to livestock producers facing reduced pasture and grass resources due to drought.
The counties approved for emergency haying and grazing are Adams, Antelope, Arthur, Banner, Boone, Box Butte, Boyd, Buffalo, Cedar, Chase, Cheyenne, Clay, Cuming, Custer, Dakota, Dawes, Dawson, Deuel, Dixon, Dundy, Franklin, Frontier, Furnas, Garden, Garfield, Gosper, Greeley, Harlan, Hall, Hayes, Hitchcock, Holt, Howard, Kearney, Keith, Kimball, Knox, Lincoln, Logan, Loup, McPherson, Madison, Merrick, Morrill, Nance, Nuckolls, Perkins, Phelps, Pierce, Platte, Red Willow, Scotts Bluff, Sheridan, Sherman, Sioux, Stanton, Thayer, Valley, Wayne, Webster, and Wheeler.
"Eligible producers who are interested in emergency haying or grazing of CRP must request approval before haying or grazing eligible acreage," said Steinkruger. "Producers must also obtain a modified conservation plan from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) that outlines permitted practices," he said.
Producers are encouraged to contact their local FSA office for more information on CRP emergency haying and grazing. Additional information is also available online at www.fsa.usda.gov/ne. More
Utilizing CRP for Grazing in Drought Conditions
Eligible producers interested in grazing CRP under the emergency authorization, and current CRP participants who choose to provide land for grazing to an eligible livestock producer must first request approval through the USDA Farm Service Agency, and obtain from the Natural Resources Conservation Service a modified conservation plan that includes grazing requirements.
Utilizing CRP for grazing provides both some challenges and opportunities. The following are some things to think through when deciding whether or not to use CRP for grazing. Continue reading
Facing Family Finances During Drought
Families can help reduce the natural stress that comes with reduced income by encouraging open discussion about family finance issues. Bring your family together to discuss your values and attitudes toward money. Do your expenditures reflect your priorities? Which priorities need to be met in the short-term and which can be delayed slightly? More
Also see the Family Finances section for more tips for your family.
More Nebraska Drought News
Market Journal Video Segments
Al Dutcher, UNL Extension state climatologist, gives his forecast for the week of Oct. 27.
A recent UNL study calculated the drought damage in 2012 as it relates to corn use.
The National Drought Mitigation Center, housed at UNL, helps people and institutions understand and prepare for drought.