Saturday, December 20, 2014

National Drought Mitigation Center

Drought Headlines

We select interesting and representative drought stories from all over the U.S. and around the world. We group them into the same categories that the Drought Impact Reporter uses, as well as a few others. Subscribe to Drought Headlines Drought Headlines RSS

Drought Headlines Archive

General Awareness

Floods Breed Cooperation, Droughts Breed Conflict
Water Online, Dec 16, 2014

Floods require emergency response that is short-lived, while droughts often mean sustained response efforts where decisions over water allocations must be made, sometimes leading to conflict.
California drought: Feds forecast good chance of wet conditions for next three months
San Jose Mercury News (Calif.), Dec 18, 2014
California
The Climate Prediction Center issued its seasonal drought outlook on Dec. 18, showing that improvement for California may be on the way in the next three months.
California drought: Winter storms finally starting to boost storage levels in key reservoirs
San Jose Mercury News (Calif.), Dec 11, 2014
California
California has benefited from substantial rains that deposited billions of gallons of precious water in depleted reservoirs.
Causes of Calif. drought natural, not man-made: NOAA
USA Today, Dec 08, 2014
California
California’s drought stemmed from natural weather patterns, according to research from Columbia University's Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory. Some climate scientists were dissatisfied with the report because it did not include record heat’s influence on the drought.
California drought the worst in 1,200 years, new study says
San Jose Mercury News (Calif.), Dec 05, 2014
California
Research from the Massachusetts' Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and University of Minnesota found that the current drought is the worst California has seen in at least 1,200 years. Blue oak tree rings dating back to 800 A.D. revealed no three year time span when precipitation was as low and temperatures as high as the past three years.

Agriculture

California Dairies Look To Midwest’s Greener Pastures
NET (Lincoln, Neb.), Dec 17, 2014
California, Midwest
California dairy owners are increasingly selling cattle and moving to the Midwest for new opportunities to raise dairy cattle. High feed costs, state business and environmental regulations, drought and, in some cases, almonds, have driven farmers to give up on the dairy business. Almond production is attractive because demand for the nut is high, as is the profit margin.
South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas are popular states drawing dairymen from California.
Bad Year for Big Country Cotton Growers
KTAB TV 32 & KRBC TV 9 (Abilene, Texas), Dec 16, 2014
Texas
Low prices for cotton and reduced cotton production due to drought has hurt farmers significantly in the Big Country of Texas. A cotton ginner reported that most of the cotton in the region was shredded because cotton production was so low. With less cotton to gin, the gin brought in fewer workers, who will certainly miss the paycheck.
Water worries multiply in Eastern Oregon
Capital Press (Salem, Ore.), Dec 11, 2014
Oregon
Three consecutive years of drought and meager snowfall in Eastern Oregon have cost farmers tens of millions in lost or unplanted crops. Water supplies for 2015 were not looking very good because the project usually carries over 350,000 to 500,000 acre-feet of available storage, but only had 30,000 acre-feet to carry over this year.
Cattle prices could lead to thefts
Salina Journal (Kansas), Nov 22, 2014
Kansas
Kansas farmers and ranchers were warned to be on guard against cattle rustlers. A livestock production agent with the Central Kansas Extension District cautioned that record high cattle prices could make cattle an attractive way to make a quick buck. Steers were selling for $1,300 to $2,000, according to the Farmers & Ranchers Livestock Commission.
Drought revives 'forgotten art' at wineries: Farming without irrigation
Los Angeles Times, Nov 23, 2014
California
More California grape growers are considering dry farming as ongoing drought reduces the region’s water supply. The right type of soil to absorb and retain natural moisture is essential, as is the right vines that produce deep roots to reach moisture. Growers must also till carefully and manage soil well to help vines get through the summer months. Dry farming can lead to reduced yields, but often produces higher quality grapes.

Business & Industry

Despite drought, California exports on track for record year
Sacramento Business Journal (Calif.), Dec 08, 2014
California
California’s agricultural exports were 5.9 percent lower from August through October, compared to the same time frame in 2013. Drought was the reason for the reduction.
Marin Sun Farms to close San Francisco facility
SFGate.com (San Francisco), Nov 17, 2014
San Francisco
Marin Sun Farms will close its San Francisco meat processing plant at the end of 2014. The rising cost of doing business and the lingering financial impacts from drought on beef producers made it a wise decision to shutter the San Francisco plant.
State exports stay strong despite slowing ag shipments
The Sacramento Bee (Calif.), Nov 04, 2014
California
California’s exports of non-manufactured goods, consisting of mainly agricultural produce and raw materials, were nearly the same as last year, which analysts say was a byproduct of the exceptional drought gripping the state.
“With each passing month, we are seeing mounting evidence of the adverse impact the drought is having on California’s multibillion-dollar agricultural export trade,” said Jock O’Connell, an international trade adviser with Beacon, a consulting firm with offices in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.
California drought boosts South Bay synthetic turf businesses as homeowners turn to artificial grass
Torrance Daily Breeze (California), Oct 27, 2014
South Bay, California
The California synthetic turf industry is thriving as sales skyrocket. One South Bay landscaper reported jumps in annual revenues from under $300,000 in 2012 to more than $2.5 million in the first nine months of the year. An artificial grass supplier based in Torrance reported turf sales for 2014 are on track to be double those of 2013, when 625,000 square feet of turf were sold.
California drought worries pool industry
Yahoo! Finance, Oct 05, 2014
California
The California pool industry is concerned that more than three dozen water agencies and cities have set rules on pool maintenance. In some cities, residents may not drain or refill pools or must cover pools with covers to reduce evaporation. While business is fine at present, people in the pool industry worry that ongoing drought will eventually hurt pool-related businesses. The California Pool & Spa Association says that pools use less water than traditionally irrigated lawns, and the use of a pool cover reduces evaporation by up to 90 percent.

Energy

California ISO: Challenging 2014 Summer but Reliability Held Firm
Reuters, Oct 20, 2014
California
Drought curbed California hydropower production this summer by 1,628 megawatts.
Drought Shutters Hydro Power Generation
KOLO-TV (Reno, Nev.), Jul 30, 2014
Western Nevada
Three hydropower plants belonging to the Truckee Meadows Power Authority were shutting down because there was not enough water to keep the plants operating. The plants will probably be able to generate hydropower again in January or February.
Drought hinders state's emissions goals
San Francisco Chronicle, Jul 20, 2014
California
Drought has cut into hydropower production in California, driving energy costs higher as the state turns to other more expensive energy sources. Hydropower generation dropped from 18.2 percent in 2011 to 11.7 percent in 2012 when drought began.
Despite years of decreases in greenhouse gas emissions since 2004, California’s emissions began to rise in 2012, due to drought and the closing of the San Onofre nuclear plant in San Diego County. Emissions data for 2013 were not yet available.
With drought comes downturn in hydroelectricity generation
Austin American-Statesman (Texas), May 23, 2014
Central Texas
Hydropower generation by the Lower Colorado River Authority was 69 percent lower in 2013 than in 2011, due to reduced flows from the Highland Lakes.
California may rely on more gas-fired generation due to drought
Reuters, Jan 10, 2014
California
With less water stored in California reservoirs, less hydropower will likely be produced in the state in 2014, leading to greater reliance on natural gas-fired power production.
In 2011, hydropower accounted for an above average 21.3 percent and natural gas was used for 45.4 percent of in-state electricity production. In 2012, dry conditions in California shifted the balance to 13.8 percent hydropower and 61.1 percent gas-fired generation. Hydropower is cheaper than gas-fired power.

Fire

WILDFIRES: Threat should be dropping this time of year – but isn't
The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, Calif.), Nov 15, 2014
Southern California
Firefighting resources in Riverside and San Bernardino counties are being kept at summer levels. Normally at this time of year, reductions in staffing and equipment are made, but the fire danger remains high, so the staffing reduction is being postponed. The U.S. Forest Service also has kept its staffing levels high in the San Bernardino National Forest and the Cleveland National Forest and continues to renew contracts for firefighting airplanes on a weekly basis.
Wildfires prove costly for California budget
Los Angeles Times, Sep 29, 2014
California
The expense of fighting California’s many wildfires has used the $209 million set aside for the task, prompting Gov. Brown to access another $70 million from a reserve account, containing $449 million designated for unexpected costs like natural disasters, as fires continue to burn. The federal government may reimburse the state for some of the firefighting costs incurred so far.
State officials set aside more money than usual for firefighting, but the funds were spent less than three months after they were marked for firefighting. In addition, the extra money spent on firefighting has made the governor reluctant to commit funds to other programs.
Pacific Northwest wildfire season: Oregon and Washington topped nation in acres burned
Oregon Live (Portland, Ore.), Sep 24, 2014
Washington, Oregon
Oregon and Washington endured 3,270 wildfires that burned 1,284,013 acres of federal, state and private land from the start of 2014 through Sept. 22, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. The number of fires was lower than the 10-year average, but the spatial extent of the fires was nearly three times the 10-year average of 452,039 acres. The largest fire in each state was the Carlton Complex in Washington at 256,108 acres and the Buzzard Complex in southeastern Oregon at 395,747 acres. Both states have been affected by drought since the start of the year.
Total firefighting costs have risen to $446 million, in comparison with $235 million at this time last year, according to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center.
Little rain makes for anxious fire officials
FOX6 WBRC-TV (Birmingham, Alabama), Aug 30, 2014
Alabama
Dry conditions have allowed more fires than usual across Alabama, where summer is not normally a part of their fire season. During a recent seven-day period, 43 wildfires blackened more than 593 acres, according to the Alabama Forestry Commission.
Lightning strikes in Northern California spark 34 new wildfires
Los Angeles Times, Aug 11, 2014
Northern California
Since the end of July, more than a dozen wildfires have blackened more than 100,000 acres in northern California.

Plants & Wildlife

Coho salmon vanish in Muir Woods, fanning fears of extinction
The Bulletin (Bend, Oregon), Nov 30, 2014
Marin County, California
Coho salmon that typically swim up Redwood Creek into Muir Woods did not appear this year and may be nearing extinction. No salmon eggs were found in Muir Woods this past winter, and no baby coho were seen this summer. Biologists think the 2014 generation was extinct, but that suspicion has not yet been confirmed. Officials blamed decades of environmental pollution, habitat degradation and drought for the fishes’ disappearance.
Drought blamed for bear activity
Curry Coastal Pilot (Brookings, Oregon), Nov 18, 2014
Southwestern Oregon
Hungry bears have been causing problems in the Brookings area because drought prevented a good acorn crop. Apple trees and garbage have been targets of the famished bruins, prompting a spike in calls to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife during the past month with up to five calls in a single day.
Sacramento’s salmon run in full swing, but drought still a worry
The Sacramento Bee (Calif.), Nov 16, 2014
Sacramento Valley, California
Drought has slowed the salmon spawning run in the Sacramento Valley where more than 300,000 fall-run Chinook, also known as king, salmon are expected to swim up rivers and streams and spawn during October and November.
Preserving an Accident, the Salton Sea in California, for the Good of Nature
The New York Times, Nov 10, 2014
Salton Sea in Southern California
Drought and less water from the Colorado River are combining to allow the salty Salton Sea to slowly shrink. Less shallow water and fewer fish leave the migrating pelicans and grebes hungry. As more of the lakebed is exposed, more dust blows and affects children’s respiratory systems. The highest childhood asthma rates in the state are near the Salton Sea.
Cranes crowd Staten Island as other Valley habitat dries up
The Sacramento Bee (Calif.), Nov 07, 2014
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California
About twice as many sandhill cranes as usual have come to winter on Staten Island in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. A much larger population of greater white fronted geese has also arrived on the island. A conservation scientist with The Nature Conservancy and other scientists were unsure of the exact reason for the change, but think that drought and a shift in cultivated crops are responsible for the vast number of birds showing up on Staten Island.

Relief, Response, & Restrictions

States in Parched Southwest Take Steps to Bolster Lake Mead
The New York Times, Dec 17, 2014
Colorado River Basin
Officials with water agencies in Arizona, California and Nevada signed an agreement at the Colorado River Water Users Association conference to try to protect Lake Mead from dwindling further. The cooperating states intend to add up to three million acre-feet of water to Lake Mead by 2020 through conservation and changes in water management to limit demand on the lake. Forty million people rely on Lake Mead for water, and a lot of electricity is generated there and also at Lake Powell.
Lake Mead was about 40 percent full and just 10 feet above the trigger for the federal government to declare a shortage and start water rationing. The federal Bureau of Reclamation says rationing could happen as early as the spring of 2016 and is likely in 2017.
With future uncertain, Colorado shields its water
Yahoo! News, Dec 09, 2014
Colorado River Basin
The director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board announced that his state would not be sacrificing their water allotment to aid parched California, which was running low on water. Water managers from other states in the Colorado River basin shared that sentiment.
Water board adds $40 million to conservation budget as drought persists
Los Angeles Times, Dec 09, 2014
Southern California
The Metropolitan Water District’s board of directors supplemented its conservation budget by $40 million and updated its water allocation plan as drought continued. The increased funding boosted the rebate budget from $60 million to $100 million. The public response to the rebate program has been phenomenal with more than $100 million in turf removal requests from July through November 2014.
Water woes among topics for 8 governors in Vegas
Associated Press, Dec 05, 2014
Las Vegas
Eight Western governors are meeting this weekend to discuss regional water concerns as each state grasps at every last drop of water they have a right to take. Governors from Nevada, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming are taking part in the meeting.
Southern and Northern California Unite in Support Of the Emergency California Drought Relief Act of 2014 by Christmas
PRWeb (Beltsville, Maryland), Dec 04, 2014
California
A broad-based statewide coalition of businesses, urban and rural residents, farmers, water districts and municipalities are pushing Congress to pass emergency legislation introduced in Congress this week to offer temporary operational flexibility for California’s two main water systems. The California Drought Relief Act of 2014 will ease human suffering and impact on people and businesses, and protect people and the environment.

Society & Public Health

Duncan budget proposal cuts raises, hiring
KSWO-TV ABC 7 (Lawton, Okla.), Dec 15, 2014
Duncan, Oklahoma
The 2015 budget for Duncan includes pay and hiring freezes so the town can save nearly $1 million. Drought and past debts were some of several factors resulting in reduced revenue and the need to save money.
Beef prices soar upward
Brownsville Herald (Texas), Dec 01, 2014
U.S.
“All Fresh” retail beef rose another 5 cents during October to a new high of $5.96 per pound, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as reported by CattleFax. “All Fresh” reflects the composite price for all fresh beef, in contrast to frozen or imported beef, and the price looks like it will average 14 percent higher for 2014, compared to last year.
Dry Central California town gets portable showers
The Sacramento Bee (Calif.), Nov 18, 2014
East Porterville, California
Portable showers have been set up for the hundreds of East Porterville residents who have no running water. The Tulare County Office of Emergency Management provided the showers because they were concerned about residents taking sponge baths from buckets of water as many are forced to do, and the winter bringing colder weather. People must bring their own soap and towels.
A world without chocolate? Confection giants sound the alarm
CBS News, Nov 17, 2014

Drought has slowed cocoa production in Ivory Coast and Ghana, and pests and diseases have curbed production, too. Now Ebola in West Africa has sparked new concern that production might be slowed and drive up chocolate prices.
Turkey Production Down, Wholesale Prices Up
ABC News, Nov 15, 2014
U.S.
Turkey production in the U.S. was the lowest in nearly 30 years, and wholesale prices are at record levels, but likely will not affect turkey prices too much in the grocery store.

Tourism & Recreation

Washoe Lake north of Carson City nearly dry after five years of drought
Nevada Appeal (Carson City), Nov 29, 2014
Washoe Lake in western Nevada
Employees at Washoe Lake State Park have come up with new activities to entertain visitors rather than using water-based activities because the lake is very low. Park visitors can enjoy moonlight hikes and stargazing. While Washoe Lake used to be 4 miles long and 2 miles wide, the lake has shrunk to roughly one-tenth of its former size.
Lake-level watching is new tourism fad
Merced Sun-Star (Calif.), Nov 16, 2014
California
More tourists were flocking to see foundations, old bridges and other relics as drought depletes California lakes and exposes objects not seen in many years. In Lake Don Pedro, the foundation from the stamp mill of the old Eagle-Shawmut mine has reappeared. Hundreds of curious people have visited the lake to have a look and sometimes enjoy a picnic.
Many visitors to the New Melones Visitor Center near Highway 49 on the Tuolumne County side of the New Melones Lake inquire about when certain landmarks will become visible.
At Lake McClure, the old Yosemite Railway tunnels are high above the water line and have been exposed for several months. Tourists can also view the concrete pillars of the railroad’s old Barrett Bridge and bits of the foundations from the town and rail stop of Bagby.
As drought continues, boat ramps close on area lakes
Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas), Oct 17, 2014
Dallas-Fort Worth area
Ongoing drought has dropped lake levels to the point that many boat ramps were no longer useable in north central Texas. The last accessible boat ramp at Eagle Mountain Lake was closed mid-September when water levels fell to a critical point.
At Benbrook Lake, the only open boat ramp was at Mustang Park. Many boat ramps were closed at Lake Grapevine, but most ramps were still open at Joe Pool Lake, Lewisville Lake and Lake Ray Roberts.
Worsening California drought starting to limit outdoor recreation
San Francisco Chronicle, Aug 17, 2014
California
Numerous California lakes and parks continue to feel the pain of the ongoing drought. Yosemite Falls has gone dry; many parks have porta potties for use, instead of flush toilets; and boat ramps were closed. Many plants were also showing drought stress by turning color and dropping leaves early.
Soaking up Catalina, tourists pose dilemma
The Bend Bulletin (Oregon), Aug 14, 2014
Catalina Island, California
Water users in Avalon were told to cut their water use by 25 percent as the city moved into stage 2 mandatory water restrictions on Aug. 11 as the island’s reservoir neared a record low. Since Avalon is a popular tourist destination, it is imperative that the island’s 1 million tourists also conserve along with the town’s 4,000 year-round residents.
To educate visitors about the scarce water supply, signs were posted in hotel rooms asking guests to keep showers brief. Some restaurants began serving food on paper plates and sell customers bottled water for 50 cents when customers request water. Hotels plan to begin sending laundry to the mainland rather than washing it in Avalon.

Water Supply & Quality

Salinas Valley water report suggests shift in pumping
San Jose Mercury News (Calif.), Dec 17, 2014
Salinas Valley, California
A Salinas Valley groundwater basin report recommended that pumping be shifted away from the coast to deeper underground water sources to reduce seawater intrusion which was worsened by drought. Agricultural interest groups opposed the recommendation. While seawater intrusion changed little during 2011-13, it seems to have penetrated further inland in 2014.
Utility to require water meter conversion come June
Reno Gazette-Journal (Nev.), Dec 17, 2014
Nevada
Directors of the Truckee Meadows Water Authority voted Dec. 17 to change billing so that flat-rate water customers are charged through the use of meters to help customers reduce water use. Metered billing will start in June for the 5,556 water customers still paying a flat rate.
During this third year of drought, lake and reservoir levels were low, the Truckee River flowed slowly and backup water supplies were needed for the first time in 20 years.
Bay Area cities sign aquifer deal to share water
KTVU-TV Oakland, San Francisco, Bay Area (San Francisco, Calif.), Dec 16, 2014
Bay Area, California
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, San Bruno, Daly City and the California Water Services Company agreed to a $113 million plan to diversify the region’s water supply to guard against drought and other disasters. The SFPUC will sell Hetch Hetchy water to Daly City and San Bruno in wet years and allow them to bank rainwater in the aquifer. In drier years, they can draw on the banked water.
Tunnel reaches third straw at Lake Mead reservoir after seven years of digging
Las Vegas Sun, Dec 10, 2014
Lake Mead in Nevada, Arizona
The 3-mile tunnel 600 feet beneath Lake Mead was completed on Dec. 10 after nearly seven years of work. The project reaches the third intake structure, which will allow Las Vegas to draw water from an even lower part of the lake if the water level continues to fall.
The Southern Nevada Water Authority proposed a plan to build a new $650 million pumping station to keep water flowing into the valley in the event that Lake Mead dips below 1,000 feet.
Drought forces Mineral Wells to seek new source of water
Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas), Dec 06, 2014
Mineral Wells, Texas
The Palo Pinto Municipal Water District No. 1 plans to construct a $6 million reverse osmosis plant and secure water rights for the next three years from a rights holder on the Brazos River. Lake Palo Pinto is the main water source for Mineral Wells and held just 10 percent of capacity. The lake is expected to be dry in the spring of 2015 without additional inflows.

International

Antarctic Ice Cores Tell 1000-year Australian Drought Story
World-Wire (Eugene, Ore.), Dec 15, 2014
Australia
"Droughts lasting longer than five years are in fact a normal part of long-term climate variability, and should therefore be factored into catchment management," said a researcher from the Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre.
"We now have a much clearer picture of the multi-decade cycles in Australian rainfall patterns, and therefore a more reliable means of predicting future trends."
Central America drought turning into humanitarian crisis, UN warns
UN News Centre, Dec 12, 2014
Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador

Nearly 2.5 million subsistence farmers, farm laborers and low-income families in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are facing food insecurity as ongoing drought nears a humanitarian crisis, says United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. As much as 75 per cent of maize and bean crop has been lost, and thousands of cattle have died.

Brazil Soybean Areas See Rain While Dryness Cuts Paraguay Crop
Bloomberg, Dec 09, 2014
Paraguay
Paraguay’s soybean crop did not receive needed rainfall, and production may fall 500,000 to 1 million tons from a previous production estimate of 9.5 million tons.
Drought in Lake Van exposes long-submerged Ottoman structures
Hurriyet Daily News (Turkey), Dec 12, 2014
Turkey
Lake Van, Turkey’s largest lake, has revealed the old city of Ercis and an Ottoman fortress as drought drains the lake. Numerous other lakes in the region have also experienced huge water losses.
Deforestation May Be at Root of Brazil Drought
ABC News, Dec 04, 2014
Brazil

Deforestation in the Amazon rain forest may mean there is less moisture being released into the air to produce plumes of moisture termed “sky rivers,” which bring precipitation to southeastern Brazil and other parts of South America.

Research

Floods Breed Cooperation, Droughts Breed Conflict
Water Online, Dec 16, 2014

Floods require emergency response that is short-lived, while droughts often mean sustained response efforts where decisions over water allocations must be made, sometimes leading to conflict.
Study finds varied fish response to unexpected droughts
Phys.org (Great Britain), Dec 15, 2014

Native fish populations on the Upper Verde River in Arizona decreased during droughts and increased during floods, while non-native populations did not vary much, according to research conducted by Albert Ruhí with Arizona State University’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability.
Plants have little wiggle room to survive drought, UCLA life scientists report
UCLA Newsroom (Los Angeles), Nov 13, 2014

Researchers from the University of California and China’s Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden found that plants have the ability to adapt to drought conditions by adjusting the amount of salt in their cell sap, which allows them to draw more water into their cells. Plants were found to be able to make only small adjustments in the salt content of their cell sap, giving them little capacity to respond to drought.

Can planners stop drought harming the tourist dollar?
environmentalresearchweb (Bristol, U.K.), Nov 18, 2013

Tourism and recreation industry representatives should be involved in drought preparedness activities for the benefit of the state and the tourist/recreation industry.
Gold found growing in eucalyptus trees in world-first CSIRO research
Australian Broadcast Corporation, Oct 23, 2013
Australia
Eucalyptus trees in Australia were found to have particles of gold in the trees’ leaves, twigs and bark. The trees’ roots grew down 30 meters to find moisture and tapped into gold underground.

Mitigation

Cloud seeding, no longer magical thinking, is poised for use this winter
The Sacramento Bee (California), Nov 11, 2013
California
Cloud seeding will continue to be used in California during the 2013-14 winter to boost snowfall and increase water supplies in a state that has endured two years of drought. Cloud-seeding efforts in California began more than 60 years ago and involve the spraying of silver iodide into clouds.
Heat, Drought Draw Farmers Back To Sorghum, The 'Camel Of Crops'
National Public Radio (Washington, D.C.), Oct 31, 2013
U.S.
Farmers trying to find crops that need less water are rediscovering grain sorghum, and people searching for healthier foods are buying more of it.
USDA study shows benefits of weaning calves early
Drovers Cattle Network (Lenexa, Kansas), Aug 29, 2013

Weaning calves early during drought allows cows to gain more weight and achieve better body condition than cows with nursing calves. Consequently, less harvested feedstuffs were needed for cows to maintain adequate body weights and condition during the winter.
USDA Recommends New Practice to Combat Drought
WIUM-FM Tri States Public Radio (Macomb, Illinois), Aug 27, 2013
Illinois, Midwest
The USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service says that drain water management techniques can help farmers cope with drought as they regulate how much water is allowed to drain from a field. A device can be attached to the ends of tile lines to act as a valve to keep needed moisture from draining away.
FOCUS ON AGRICULTURE: Cover crops boost yield in dry years
The Quincy Herald-Whig (Ill.), Aug 21, 2013
Midwest
The use of cover crops boosted agricultural output in drought-stricken areas in 2012. In the fall of 2012 from a survey of more than 750 farmers in the Midwest, corn crops planted after cover crops yielded 9.6 percent more corn in comparison with side-by-side fields without cover crops. Soybean yields were 11.6 percent higher following cover crops.
In the driest parts of the Corn Belt, the differences were even more striking, with an 11 percent increase in yield for corn and a 14.3 percent yield increase for soybeans.
Drought Headlines Archive

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