Drought and Your Livestock

Drought and Your Livestock

The impact of drought on livestock can be devastating. Limited water supplies occur during a time when the water needs are increased. Feed availability can also become limited. Plants can also concentrate toxins making them lethal to livestock. Planning ahead can help protect the health and well-being of your livestock.

Use this checklist to make plans for your livestock before, during, and after a drought situation.

Drought and Your Livestock [PDF]

Related Websites

Dealing with Drought
Website with resources on preparing and recovering from drought conditions. Includes information on crops, livestock, financial concerns as well as the home and yard and dealing with stress.
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
Drought Information
Website providing drought resources for the home, family, farm and ranch.
North Dakota State University Extension Service
Managing Drought Risk on the Ranch
Website with a number of drought related resources for farms and ranches.
National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska
National Drought Mitigation Center
Website with links to drought mitigation tools for agricultural producers.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS)
Website with extensive maps, data, and resources on current drought conditions in the U.S.
Multiple Federal Agenies
NWS Climate Prediction Center: Drought Information
Website with latest assessments and seasonal outlooks for drought situations in the U.S.
National Weather Service (NOAA NWS)
U.S. Drought Monitor
Website providing drought condition maps and information for the U.S.
National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS)
USDA Drought Programs and Assistance
Website listing the various USDA programs and agencies to assist with drought issues.
U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA Drought Resources Page
Website providing latest USDA drought announcements and drought disaster updates.
U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA FSA Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP)
Website of information on the USDA FSA Livestock Forage Program.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency (USDA FSA)

Additional Web Resources

Cattle Management During Drought
Factsheet discussing alternative cattle management strategies during drought situations, such as early weaning and creep feeding.
Montana Cooperative Extension System
Conserving Water in Agriculture: Livestock Water Management During a Drought
Suggestions for making the best use of available water during drought situations to prevent land damage or decreased livestock performance.
Oregon State University Extension Service
Drought Preparedness and Response: Strategies for Farmers
Factsheet discussing actions to take before and after a drought.
University of Wisconsin Extension
Economics of Managing a Livestock Enterprise During Drought
Factsheet containing steps for evaluating options and alternative management ideas during drought situations.
South Dakota State University Cooperative Extension Service
Horse pasture frost and drought concerns
Information about plants found on pasture that may be harmful to horses during drought or frost conditions.
University of Minnesota Extension
Managing Drought Risk on the Ranch Handbook
Handbook outlining how to develop and implement a ranch drought plan.
University of Nebraska, USDA RMA, National Drought Mitigation Center
Managing Livestock During a Drought
Factsheet discussing water requirements and feed issues for livestock during a drought.
University of Wisconsin Extension
Nitrate Toxicity
Factsheet on the nitrate accumulation in plants during drought conditions and precautions to take before feeding to livestock.
Iowa Beef Center, Iowa State University
Tax Issues After a Drought: Guidelines for Crop Loss and Livestock Sales
Factsheet discussiong tax issues for crops and livestock following a drought.
University of Wisconsin Extension