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Drought workshop to provide important information for area ranchers and farmers

Feather Publishing
2/21/2014
 

A drought management workshop is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 28, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Vinton Grange Hall on Highway 70 in Vinton.

The Sierra Valley and Feather River resource conservation districts are hosting the event for area farmers and ranchers in response to growing local concerns about potentially devastating water shortages and drought impacts from the lack of winter precipitation and the state drought declaration.

Sign-in and refreshments will begin at 12:15 p.m. and the workshop will begin promptly at 1.

Key presenters from the University of California Cooperative Extension and UC Davis Rangeland Laboratory will discuss drought management topics ranging from water resource forecasts, native meadow and irrigation strategies during shortages, forage and feed alternatives, noxious and invasive plant concerns, herd health and nutrition, destocking andmarket timing, ranch budget analysis, risk management, and utilizing media and social media for education and support systems.

Even prior to the January drought declaration, California ranchers had begun to weigh strategies to offset the impact of the rainfall shortages on winter foothill rangelands as grass shortages and scarcity of stock drinking water forced alternative considerations.

These winter ranges are just half of the picture for Plumas-Sierra ranchers who will return to the mountain valleys with their herds in May and June for summer grazing on irrigated pastures.

The area’s two watermasters forecast severe water cutbacks and curtailments at a recent drought discussion meeting in Loyalton.

These major cutbacks to water allocations will result in tough decision-making for the short term and thelong term. Flexibility and economically feasible options will be the key to adapting.

The workshop is free and open to all interested parties. For more information, contact sierravalleyrcd@gmail.com.

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