Drought and Your Crops

Drought and Your Farms and Crops

A prolonged drought can have a serious impact on crops. Decreased precipitation reduces crop and forage growth and can ultimately result in crop loss. Weakened plants are also more susceptible to disease and insects. Drought conditions can also increase the level of wind erosion of top soil and increase the risk of fires. Planning ahead can help protect your crops during drought situations.

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

Drought and Your Crops [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
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

Additional Web Resources

Alternative Crops During a Drought: Meeting Forage and Grain Needs in an Emergency
Factsheet discussing alternative forages and ways to reduce the risk of drought stress in crops.
University of Wisconsin Extension
Drought Preparedness and Response: Strategies for Farmers
Factsheet discussing actions to take before and after a drought.
University of Wisconsin Extension
Drought-Stressed Corn
Factsheet to help producers identify drought stressed corn and discusses several options for harvest.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension
Fertilizer Application After a Drought: Considerations For This Year and Next
Factsheet discussing fertilizing considerations after drought situations.
University of Wisconsin Extension
Herbicide Concerns After a Drought: Accounting for Carryover in Next Year's Crops
Factsheet discussing herbicide carryover levels, avoiding residue problems, and testing for carryover.
University of Wisconsin Extension
Irrigation During a Drought: Considerations for Non-Irrigating Farmers
Factsheet discussing considerations for irrigation during a drought.
University of Wisconsin 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 Drought-Stressed Corn for Silage
Factsheet discussing harvest guidelines and toxicity issues associated with drought-stressed corn.
University of Florida Cooperative 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
Prepare Your Farm or Ranch Before Drought Strikes
Information on preparing a farm or ranch for a drought. Ideas on water, land and crop management.
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
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
Tillage During a Drought: What to Do - and Not Do - When Soils are Dry
Factsheet with general considerations for crops during drought situations.
University of Wisconsin Extension
Weed Management During a Drought: Herbicide Effectiveness and Mechanical Measures
Factsheet discussing soil applied herbicides, rotary hoeing and cultivation considerations during a drought.
University of Wisconsin Extension