A survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation shows how severe drought conditions are in the west. Micheal Clements shares the results.
Clements: Farm Bureau surveyed producers in 13 states in the Western U.S. to find how drought conditions are impacting farmers. AFBF Associate Economist Danny Munch says the survey shows the severe drought is impacting famers and ranchers’ ability to operate profitably.
Munch: Over 85 percent rated selling off portions of their herd or flock as prevalent or higher, 87 percent of respondents say there’s an increase in feed costs associated with drought, 77 percent of them reduced their acreage and see that as prevalent or higher within their region. So, making a lot of different operational-level changes to really deal with drought conditions.
Clements: For crop farmers, Munch says many report tilling under or destroying crops to deal with any potential future loses in production.
Munch: That was rated as moderately prevalent. We know in certain areas where there’s specialty crops, like out in California with your almond trees, some producers were bulldozing almond trees or kind of pruning off your fruits and veggies to save the trees. So, you’re really experiencing major changes on a lot of these farms and orchards to deal with a lack of water.
Clements: Munch adds many farmers are dealing with water shortages.
Munch: 86 percent of our respondents said that they’ve experienced reduced water deliveries with most of that being very prevalent across the board. And that really links back to such a low amount of water in all of the reservoirs that farmers and ranchers rely on out west.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.