The Role of Drought Preparedness in Improving the Sustainability of Great Plains Ranches

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2011: $56,366.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2013
Region: North Central
State: Nebraska
Project Coordinator:
Tonya Haigh
National Drought Mitigation Center

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: corn, soybeans, wheat, grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Additional Plants: native plants
  • Animals: bovine


  • Animal Production: grazing management, range improvement, stocking rate, watering systems, feed/forage
  • Education and Training: decision support system, extension, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, risk management


    In order to improve drought resilience and long-term sustainability of ranches and rangeland in the North Central Region, this project provided education on monitoring and planning for drought. The primary output was a series of five webinars on drought planning, targeted to a wide range of ranch advisors and professionals in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas. Archived webinars are available for public use at More than 225 agricultural educators, professionals, policy makers and producers viewed the webinar series in real time, and over 575 have accessed the information online.

    Project objectives:

    Project Goal: To increase the technical support available to help rangeland managers mitigate and plan for drought in ways that enhance ecological, economic, and social sustainability.

    Project Objectives:

    1. To increase agricultural educator/professional awareness of the need for, and challenges of, drought mitigation and planning for sustainable ranch management
    2. To increase agricultural educator/professional knowledge of drought mitigation and planning strategies that improve ranch sustainability
    3. To increase agricultural educator/professional knowledge of, and ability to comfortably use, drought monitoring and decision-making tools

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.