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How to Prepare Your Ranch for a Drought

Posted by abreitenbach on August 3, 2021

For most of the United States, droughts are inevitable, so it’s important that you know how to prepare your ranch in the instance that a drought happens.

The more prepared you are, the less profit you’ll lose. Here are some tips on how to survive through the dry times.

1. Harvest rainwater.

With a drought, water is obviously the first thing that comes to mind that you need. Harvesting rainwater throughout the year in rain barrels and water tanks will provide a reserve in case you start running low.

2. Plant different crops.

Alternating crops in drought conditions to those that need a smaller amount of water can keep your soil healthy and your livestock fed.

3. Improve soil quality.

Healthy soil retains water better. Keep adding mulch. Swales, or closed ditches, can help hold and retain water as well. This will also help keep your soil healthier.

4. Artificial recharge of ground water.

This method consists of storing excess water in underground aquifers that can be recovered in times of need, like a drought. Another term is “water banking.”

5. Stay aware.

Even if you feel prepared, it’s always a good idea to monitor your ranch’s water and allocate it wisely. Work with your local extension agency to test your water and make sure it’s adequate for your livestock.

Overall, droughts can sneak up on you, it’s good to have a plan in place and be proactive before things get too bad. Remember, the longer you wait to act, the less resources (and options) you’ll have available.

United Country Real Estate has some of the top ranch land experts across the country ready to help you find or sell your next ranch or farm land. Learn more and find an agent near you at


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