Farmer & Rancher Drought Report

How Ranchers & Farmers Can Help With Drought Impacts

This weekly map of drought conditions is based on reported impacts and observations from contributors around the country.  Drought Monitor authors rely on on-the-ground observations from ranchers and farmers.

The U.S. Drought Monitor, established in 1999, is produced jointly by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC).

This map is important for several reasons:
  • Used to determine eligibility for government-funded drought relief programs for ranchers and farmers
  • Used to determine how long a rancher who has sold breeding stock can defer capital gains tax bills
  • Helps assess forage production & other vegetation responses
  • Assists land managers in preserving data and current research for future generations
What would you report?
  1. Your rain gauge totals
  2. Rangeland production (pounds of forage) compared to previous years
  3. Photographs to show differences in vegetation from year to year (try an iPhone application called GrassSnap at
  4. Bloom & leaf-out dates for landscape plants
  5. Dates of first leaf-out for blue oaks (important indicator)
  6. Date of first killing frost
  7. Date of first sandhill crane flyover (spring and fall)
  8. Dates the creeks start or stop running
  9. Dates when vernal pools or stockponds start to fill or become dry
  10. Dates when your springs stop/start
  11. Have you sold livestock because of lack of forage or stockwater?
  12. Did your fruit trees die?
  13. Has your irrigation water deliveries been curtailed?
  14. Has your groundwater levels dropped?

All of this information provides valuable, real-world information to the Drought Monitor.

If you do not have access to the internet, or would like assistance to get started, contact the Nevada County Resource Conservation District (RCD) and we will help you!  We will submit a report on your behalf if you do not have internet access.  We can be reached at (530) 272-3417 extensions 5530 and 5529 and at or

Your stories and data are important for research, future generations, and the community.