Drought Resources for Dairy and Livestock Producers

Sheep grazing in a dry pasture

With all of New Hampshire still in either Moderate or Severe drought for several months, producers are faced with a set of challenges that includes water needs for livestock, crop quality, and feed availability. While this isn’t the first time we’ve experienced these conditions in the Northeast, farms may still be looking to take steps to either ride out this spell or be better prepared for the next one.

The UNH Cooperative Extension Dairy, Livestock and Forage Team has compiled a list of resources to help address some of these concerns.

USDA Drought Monitor

https://www.climatehubs.usda.gov/hubs/northeast/drought-map

Water and Livestock

Water Conservation and Use on Dairy and Livestock Farms

https://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000005_Rep4.pdf

Water Requirements for Livestock

http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/07-023.htm

NH DES Environmental Fact Sheet – Intermittent Withdrawals from Surface Waters

https://www.des.nh.gov/organization/commissioner/pip/factsheets/dwgb/documents/dwgb-1-17.pdf

If you find that you are running out of water, many farms turn to water hauling to get them through. This could be on farm hauling from another source, or contracting with a hauling service to get you by. Another option is creating a new water source altogether, such as drilling a new well. However, keep in mind with much of the state in a moderate to severe drought, many wells are dry and well companies may be booked.

Crop Management with Drought

Managing Drought Stressed Hayfields and Pastures

https://extension.oregonstate.edu/crop-production/pastures-forages/drought-advisory-managing-pastures-haylands

Where to Find Feed

Facebook Group: New England Hay for Sale

https://www.facebook.com/groups/344909628926979/

UNH Farm Product Map

https://extension.unh.edu/resource/new-hampshire-farm-products-map

Maine Hay Directory

https://extension.umaine.edu/livestock/hay/

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions, concerns or other relevant resources