Workshop on planning for long-term drought, Jan. 9

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Southern Plains farmers and ranchers can register now for a one-day workshop Jan. 9 in Garden City to discuss planning for long-term and extreme drought in their operations.

The workshop will be at the 4-H building on the county fairgrounds. Registration and coffee begin at 8 a.m. It is a joint effort by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Finney County Research and Extension Office, and the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

This workshop brings together a dynamic group of producers and specialists who have experienced the recent drought of the Southern Plains and have ideas for how to weather such droughts in the future, according to Chad McNutt with the NOAA-NIDIS Program Office. Crop farmers and ranchers will come away with new information and resources to help them plan and adapt.

The workshop will feature morning sessions on climate forecasts and the long-term outlook for drought. Separate afternoon tracks will target the specific needs of ranchers and irrigated-crop producers who are dealing with long-term choices associated with declining aquifer levels.

Speakers will include range, climate and irrigation specialists such as Joel Brown, New Mexico USDA-NRCS rangeland ecologist; Gary McManus, associate state climatologist with the Oklahoma Climatological Survey; Klaus Wolter, research associate with NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) in Boulder, Colo.; and Freddie Lamm, irrigation engineer at the Northwest Research-Extension Center in Colby. The workshop will also feature ranch and crop producers with real-world experience planning for and adapting to low-water situations, from Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico and other states. Additional speakers are being confirmed and will be announced online at

The workshop is open to the public and the only charge is an at-the-door $10 fee for a brisket or pulled pork lunch. Space is limited and participants are asked to pre-register by Jan. 3 at For more information or to pre-register, please contact the National Drought Mitigation Center at or (402) 472-6776.

For more information please contact Tonya Haigh at the NDMC, 402-472-6781,

Tonya Haigh, National Drought Mitigation Center