National Drought Mitigation Center


Ag In Drought combines drought, crop areas, crop progress and management resources

June 19, 2023

The Ag In Drought site hosted by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln now provides data, maps and time series charts about crop, forage and livestock production areas in drought; crop progress data; and resources for coping with drought, including some tailored for specialty crop producers. Visit

Ag In Drought provides current data on how drought is affecting agricultural production areas across the nation, as well as resources for managing drought. The National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln added several new features this year to U.S. Agricultural Commodities in Drought website, better known as Ag in Drought, and also made it easier to find by adding a link from the U.S. Drought Monitor site.

The new features are the result of a cooperative agreement between the NDMC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of the Chief Economist.

Tonya Haigh, NDMC’s social science coordinator, worked with the USDA’s Climate Hubs to identify information that would be most valuable to producers, both for the Ag In Drought site and for the Drought Monitoring Dashboard for Ranchers.

“This is basically a front door to help farmers and ranchers deal with drought,” Haigh said. “Everything there is for them. We have been wanting to do this for a long time, and being able to work with the Climate Hubs gave it a boost.”

Mapped crop progress reports from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service was the final addition to the site. “The whole idea was to bring all the ag-specific information to a single landing spot,” said Brian Fuchs, NDMC’s Monitoring coordinator. “A lot of our audience for the Drought Monitor is related to agriculture in some shape or form, whether they’re a producer, a manager, or a state or federal agency. Instead of sending them in all these different directions, we’re putting it on a single site with more visibility.”

Deborah Bathke, NDMC’s education and outreach coordinator, recruited and oversaw student programmers Damien Niyonshuti and Serge Francis, whose efforts complemented those of Jeff Nothwehr, NDMC’s web developer. “This was a great opportunity to involve students and give them some experience outside the classroom,” Bathke said. “They helped with programming and identifying features and resources to include.”

The centerpiece of Ag in Drought is a weekly comparison of the U.S. Drought Monitor with crop-producing areas, as determined by the USDA’s Census of Agriculture every five years. The comparisons provide maps and statistics saying, for example, that 57% of the nation’s corn production area was affected by drought as of June 13, 2023.

Ag in Drought now includes:

  • Maps showing how drought is affecting agricultural production areas. The list of areas included has expanded to 13 crops and six kinds of livestock-related production.
  • Time-series charts showing what proportion of production areas have been in drought over time.
  • The data used to create the time series charts, providing the weekly percentage of each crop production area that is in each category of drought.
  • An archive of slides generated each week with similar data, including percent area in drought broken down by state and crop.
  • Crop progress, with maps and crop stage information for each of the 13 crops, from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.
  • Drought monitoring and prediction resources for specialty crops such as growing vegetables, fruit and cranberries.
  • Links to other ag-related NDMC sites, such as the Drought Monitoring Dashboard for Ranchers, GrassCast, and Condition Monitoring Observer Reports.
  • More resources for managing drought, accessing relief programs, and connecting with state and regional drought planning.  

Visit the sites:


U.S. Drought Monitor:

-- NDMC Communications