Survey Reveals Severity of Drought

Published online: Aug 23, 2021 News
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A recent survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation shows how severe drought conditions are in the west. Farm Bureau surveyed producers in 13 states in the western U.S. to find how drought conditions are impacting farmers. AFBF associate economist Danny Munch says the survey shows the severe drought is impacting farmers and ranchers’ ability to operate profitably.

“Over 85 percent rated selling off portions of their herd or flock as prevalent or higher; 87 percent of respondents say there’s an increase in feed costs associated with drought; 77 percent of them reduced their acreage and see that as prevalent or higher within their region,” says Munch. “So, [they are] making a lot of different operational-level changes to really deal with drought conditions.”

Munch says that the survey indicates that many crop farmers report tilling under or destroying crops to deal with any potential future losses in production. In certain areas where there are specialty crops, such as in California, some producers have reported bulldozing almond trees or pruning off your fruit to save the trees.

“Eighty-six percent of our respondents said that they’ve experienced reduced water deliveries, with most of that being very prevalent across the board,” says Much. “And that really links back to such a low amount of water in all of the reservoirs that farmers and ranchers rely on out West.”