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News Release

Grazing Management - Repairing the Damage Caused by Drought

 
Conservation Priority Report Louisiana

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Helping People Help the Land

03.02.2012
Grazing Management
Repairing the Damage Caused by Drought

No one wants to hear the word “drought” this time of year, especially after the rains we have been receiving.  The sound of a soft soaking rain is one of the most beautiful sounds, especially after a drought. It also marks the time when livestock producers should get to work repairing damage caused by the drought.

The first and foremost objective must be to restore vegetation on the soil surface.  Chances are that when the first significant rains come, the soil surface will have little forage to promote infiltration and reduce runoff and erosion.  The critical task is to rebuild vegetation levels as quickly as possible in order to capture and retain precipitation, and plant fertility needs should be given special consideration in drought-damaged pastures.

Often a good rain following a drought causes a rapid growth of weeds.  The weeds are dominant in pastures because the grass was weak and could not compete.  Additionally, many perennial weeds have deep roots and more access to moisture than pasture grasses.  When those weeds drop their seeds they will find perfect conditions to establish in weakened or denuded pastures.  Therefore, once the drought breaks it is important not to restock too quickly.  Restocking must be determined by the perennial grass in the pastures, not a flush of annual weeds.  Some pastures may be so damaged or weedy that they need complete renovation. 

For more information on what grazing management decisions you should make after a drought, contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service office or Soil and Water Conservation District and ask to speak to a Grazing Management Specialist.

 

 

 

 

 

The sound of a soft soaking rain is one of the most beautiful sounds, especially after a drought.

It also marks the time when livestock producers should get to work repairing damage caused by the drought.

NRCS Grazing Lands Technical Note
Recognizing, Understanding, and Managing Drought Conditions on Grazing Lands

Commitment to Equality
USDA believes every farmer and rancher should be treated equally and fairly, and we are committed to resolving all cases involving allegations of past discrimination by individuals.

Referral Guide for USDA Settlements and Claims Adjudication Process

 

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Women and Hispanic Farmers and Ranchers Claims Adjudication Process
If you believe that USDA improperly denied farm loan benefits to you for certain time periods between 1981 and 2000 because you are a female or because you are Hispanic, you may be eligible to apply for compensation.  To request a claims package by telephone, call 1-888-508-4429.  To request a claims package online, please visit
www.farmerclaims.gov

Native American Farmer and Rancher Class Action Settlement (Keepseagle v. Vilsack)
If you are a Native American who was denied a farm loan or loan servicing by the USDA between January 1, 1981, and November 24, 1999, you may be eligible for benefits from a Class Action Settlement.  To request a claims package by telephone, call:  1-888-233-5506.  To request a claims package online, or for more information, please visit: 
www.indianfarmclass.com

African American Farmer and Rancher Class Action Settlement (Pigford II)
If you are an African American farmer (a) who submitted a request to file a late claim on or between October 13, 1999, and June 18, 2008, under the 1999 USDA settlement in the earlier class action known as Pigford v. Glickman ("Pigford") and (b) who did not receive a merits determination on your discrimination claim, you may be eligible for benefits from a Class Action Settlement.  To hear information by telephone, call 1-866-950-5547 or 1-866-472-7826.  To find information online, please visit: 
www.blackfarmercase.com

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To find out more about this conservation opportunity and more, contact your local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service:  Office Locator