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Workshop to Help Crop and Range Managers Weather Extreme and Extended Drought

November 20, 2013

Southern Plains farmers and ranchers can register now for a one-day workshop Jan. 9 in Garden City, Kansas, to discuss planning for long-term and extreme drought in their operations.

The workshop will be at the 4-H building on the county fairgrounds. Registration and coffee begin at 8 a.m. It is a joint effort by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Finney County Extension-KSU, and the National Integrated Drought Information System, led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.   

The workshop will feature morning sessions on climate forecasts and the long-term outlook for drought. Separate afternoon tracks will target the specific needs of ranchers and irrigated-crop producers who are dealing with long-term choices associated with declining aquifer levels.

Speakers will include range, climate and irrigation specialists such as Joel Brown, New Mexico USDA-NRCS rangeland ecologist; Gary McManus, associate state climatologist with the Oklahoma Climatological Survey; Klaus Wolter, research associate with NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) in Boulder, Colorado; and Freddie Lamm, irrigation engineer at the Northwest Research Extension Center in Colby, Kansas. The workshop will also feature ranch and crop producers with real-world experience planning for and adapting to low-water situations, from Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico and other states. Additional speakers are being confirmed and will be announced online at http://drought.unl.edu/ranchplan.

The workshop is open to the public and the only charge is an at-the-door $10 fee for a brisket or pulled pork lunch. Space is limited and participants are asked to pre-register by Jan. 3 at http://go.unl.edu/68tg. For more information or to pre-register, please contact the National Drought Mitigation Center at ranchplan@unl.edu or (402) 472-6776.