As we put June behind us and face July with the dry conditions brought by drought, we see a lack of grasses, decreased agriculture crop production, and fires. While it comes with the territory, none of us want to see any of these. We can all pray and hope for rain, but until it comes we need to know how to get through these conditions. If you are an agriculturalist with drought related problems, there are a few information websites available I’d like to share with you to assist in answering many relevant questions.
The Agricultural Drought Task Force website http://agrilife.tamu.edu/drought/ provides a clearinghouse of drought-related information from several state and federal agencies. The ‘Resources on Drought’ section provides static and changing information on drought while the ‘News Updates/Situational Reports’ section features the latest submissions from the site’s participating agencies.
The Texas Department of Agriculture’s Hay Hotline website connects those with hay to sell, or pasture to lease, to those who need it. Also, the TDA’s ‘Disaster Resource Information Packet’ provides contact information for state, federal and private agricultural disaster assistance programs. Check out www.TexasAgriculture.gov for more information on both resources.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency provides low-interest emergency loans to help eligible producers recover from natural disasters. Interested producers should contact the office that serves the county in which your operation is located for options available in your specific location. Visit https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/farm-loan-programs/index, for more information on U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency loans.
If you’re interested in monitoring the current conditions, The U.S. Drought Monitor South, http://droughtmonitordev.unl.edu/CurrentMap.aspx stays current on drought conditions. The Texas Forestry Service also has a public viewer for current fires in Texas located at http://public.TFSWildfires.com.
For more information, please contact Chelsea Dorward at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Bosque County Office at 254-435-2331