Skip to main content

drought

Partnering to Deliver Drought Information through USDA Service Centers: A New Fact Sheet Outlines Drought-Related Recovery Programs

When dealing with drought, producers can feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to get help to recover from their losses, mitigate risk, and/or prepare for future events. To support the agricultural community in locating the information they need, USDA in partnership with the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) at the University of Nebraska, developed a two-page factsheet (PDF, 1 MB) with information on the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) and drought related programs that rely on its use.

The U.S. Drought Monitor: A Resource for Farmers, Ranchers and Foresters

Even before the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s, agricultural producers have recognized the economic and emotional devastation that drought can cause. Recently, the focus has shifted from dealing with drought as an unexpected hazard, to more proactive planning for the inevitability of drought. One of the tools available to producers is the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM), a weekly map of drought conditions produced jointly by the USDA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Drought Conditions at Lowest Point since Autumn 2010

Nationally, we are seeing extreme to exceptional (D3 to D4) drought conditions fall to their lowest point in more than 6 years. Nowhere is that change more dramatic than in California. The current (February 21, 2017) Drought Monitor for California notes the disappearance of D3/D4 from California. At the California drought’s peak from August-October 2014, that percentage was nearly 82 percent. As recently as early-December 2016, coverage of D3/D4 in California stood at 43 percent.