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NRCS Drought Assistance

Farmers and Ranchers See Successful Harvest Despite Drought

Farmers, Ranchers Tackle Drought with Conservation

 

July 23 - Native warm-season grasses weather drought, provide other benefits

July 1 - Latest NRCS science and technology helps agriculture mitigate climate change

June 3 - Conservation helps landowners ‘drought proof’ farms, ranches

May 14 - NRCS helps build resiliency to climate change

May 9 - Grant helps educate tribes on drought management

April 29 - Farmers, ranchers work to conserve biggest aquifer in the US

April 19 - Grant recipient explores soil health’s impact on drought resiliency

April 8 - NRCS helps landowners manage for soil health, buffer drought effects

April 4 - Grants to Help Farms & Ranches Build Resilience to Drought

April 2 - Home, home on the range with drought

March 18 - Cover crops improve soil health, help farmers weather drought

March 11 - Farmers, Ranchers mitigate impacts of drought with good planning

March 4 - NRCS offers science, conservation action to help landowners deal with drought

Dec. 14 - Conservation is having two great impacts in the Great Plains — making farmers and ranchers more resilient to drought and preserving the vital aquifer of the region.

 

USDA Drought Designations
Other Drought Resources
State Drought Resources

How We Can Help

We can’t change the weather, but we can be ready for it. Every day, NRCS is closely monitoring the drought and assisting farmers and ranchers with implementing voluntary conservation practices that help alleviate the drought's effects.

Conservation can’t wait. Without it we risk losing our crops, our livestock and our American farmers. 

NRCS has the science-based solutions and technical experts on the ground today to help farmers and ranchers through this drought and to prepare our country for weather events in the future. 

NRCS offers financial and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers to cope with drought across the nation. 

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

EQIP is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to address natural resource concerns on agricultural and forest land. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has granted permission for drought-stricken farmers and ranchers to modify current EQIP contracts to re-schedule planned conservation practices until drought conditions improve. In the short term, funding will be targeted toward hardest hit drought areas.

Conservation plans will emphasize improving each soil’s capacity to be more drought-resilient. Particular conservation practices that will be employed include residue management practices, such as mulch till and no-till; cover crops; mulching; and crop rotation.

NRCS will work closely with producers to ensure successful implementation of planned conservation practices. Where conservation activities have failed because of drought, NRCS will look for opportunities to work with farmers and ranchers to re-apply those activities.

Learn more about EQIP

Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP)

WHIP is a voluntary program for conservation-minded landowners who want to develop and improve wildlife habitat on agricultural land, nonindustrial private forest land, and Tribal land.

Many WHIP practices can improve wildlife habitat and alleviate drought conditions. These practices include mulch till and no-til, cover crops, mulching and crop rotation, livestock watering facilities, silvopasture establishment, riparian forest buffers and windbreaks. 

For livestock producers, WHIP can be used for prescribed grazing to prevent overgrazing of drought-stressed pastures and invasive weed growth. 

Learn more about WHIP

Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP)

The Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program helps communities address hazardous watershed impairments.

EWP can be used to re-seed drought stricken areas that would be prone to erosion and could potentially pose a threat to life or property.

Learn more about EWP

Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP)

The Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) is a voluntary program offering landowners the opportunity to protect, restore, and enhance wetlands on their property.

Agricultural Secretary Vilsack is expediting Compatible Use Authorization (CUA) requests for haying or grazing of WRP easements in drought-affected areas where such haying or grazing is consistent with conservation of wildlife habitat and wetlands. 

For landowners with land currently enrolled in WRP, the CUA process provides NRCS and affected producers the management flexibility to address short-term resource conditions in a manner that promotes both the health of the land and the viability of the overall farming operation.

Learn more about WRP

An NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant funds a three year project to show how strategic irrigation and crop system management can save water and help farmers in Texas weather the drought.

 

More Drought-Related Information