Survey reveals severity of drought

Farm Bureau survey assesses how farmers and ranchers are dealing with drought.
EDITED BY ANNE BLANKENBILLER
A recent survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation shows how severe drought conditions are in the west.

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 United States to find how drought conditions are impacting farmers. AFBF Associate Economist Danny Munch says the survey shows the severe drought is impacting famers and ranchers’ ability to operate profitably.

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

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

According to Munch, “86% of our respondents said that they’ve experienced reduced water deliveries with most of that being very prevalent across the board. 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.”

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