Back in June, the American Farm Bureau Federation distributed its third drought impact survey to members in 15 western states.  Danny Munch, AFBF economist, said the survey looked at a variety of demographics, including crop and livestock factors, as well as access to water, and what farmers are doing to cope with drought.  The major takeaways from the 650 surveys that were returned show farmers continue to battle severe drought conditions.


“Respondents respect their farm-related revenue to be down 38% from average because of drought. 74% reported an expected reduction in harvest, yields, 66% liquidating parts of their herd or livestock herd, and 73% reported reduced surface water deliveries because of drought conditions. Many more farmers were tilling under crops and removing orchards compared to last year, and of those who have reduced their herd size last year, half we're continuing to liquidate.”


Munch added communicating the impact of drought on agriculture is crucial to the conversation surrounding effective drought mitigation efforts.


“A lot of data on drought impacts is often isolated, it's not uniform across the country, or it's just generally difficult to come by. So, we at AFBF recognize the gap in data and decided to run our own survey," Munch said.  "This is the third time as drought continues to persist, and that data provides useful insights on the operational-level hurdles farmers and ranchers face in coping with that drought. That's helpful our communication efforts.”


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