June 16, 2011 Producers Encouraged to Attend Local Drought Strategies Conference
To help producers develop strategies to deal with this current drought, a Drought Strategies Conference is being held on Tuesday, June 21 in Wichita County from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The program will be held at the Iowa Park Recreational Activities Center at 806 North Third Street in Iowa Park. Registration is $15 and pre-registration is requested by Friday, June 17.
The program will include:
12:30 TO 1:00 P.M.
1:00 to 1:45 p.m.
Drought Statistics and Review— Brian Rupp, Meteorologist
How bad is it? Climate & Drought Forecasting? Climate Change Considerations.
1:45 to 2:30 p.m.
Irrigation Management Strategies — David Howell, NRCS Ag Engineer
How can I manage My operation more effectively?
2:30 to 2:50 p.m.—Albert Lopez, FSA County Director
Emergency Programs; Program Deadlines
2:50 to 3:10 p.m.—Eileen Vale, USDA District Conservationist
Programs to remediate soil after fire and drought
3:10 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.—Dr. Bill Pinchak, Prof.Texas Agrilife Extension, range animal nutrition specialist
Strategies for range, cattle and wildlife management during droughts and after fires
This historic drought has already cost Texas producers an estimated $1.5 billion, and the cost is growing daily as parched conditions persist in much of the Rolling Plains. About 90 percent of Texas’ beef cows are located in counties in severe to exceptional drought making Texas livestock producers the biggest losers – about $1.2 billion of the $1.5 billion total.
While May is typically the wettest month in Texas, some area fields haven’t seen significant rain since last October. Officials said if the drought continues into June, losses for the nation’s second largest agriculture producer will top $4 billion, making it the costliest season on record.
Meteorologists blame the conditions on La Nina, a cooling of the Pacific waters near the equator. It’s caused extreme drought in Texas and parts of Oklahoma, Louisiana and New Mexico even as much of the eastern half of the nation endured wet, cold weather.
Texas producers have a long history with droughts; since 1998, they have cost Texas agriculture $13.1 billion.
For more information contact the Texas AgriLIFE Extension Service office in your county. In Wichita County contact the office at 600 Scott Ave., Suite 200 in Wichita Falls or call 940.716.8610.