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Drought Resources

Updated March 2, 2021

University Resources - New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Services

Drought Management for Range Livestock Producers:
Developing Your Drought Management Plan
Grazing management is the most important factor for successful and sustained range livestock production in any economic or environmental climate, and it will ultimately define a producer production and marketing strategy for any given year, including drought years.

Considerations For Water During Drought
Cattle water requirements may double during hot weather. If cattle do not meet their water needs, they may refuse to eat, experience lowered production and become sick.

Feeding Options and Considerations
Producers generally have two options for meeting the nutrient requirements of cattle on drought-affected pasture and ranges. The first is to provide supplemental feed to ensure the cowherd has adequate energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals. The second is to reduce the nutrient requirements of the cow to a point where they can be met with available forage.

Drought Management Analysis Tools
These tools include spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations with directions that will help you manage your cow-calf enterprise

Visit NMSU Extension drought resources for more information on drought in New Mexico.

Other Extension Resources:

Learning to Live with Fire – How to Prepare for Wildfire Season in New Mexico
Every Thursday in March (12 to 1 p.m. March 4, 11, 18 and 25)
View events for the Fire Defensible Zone

NMSU Extension Animal Sciences & Natural Resources
Drought Management Webinar Series & Southwest Beef Symposium

Southwest Border Food Protection and Emergency Preparedness Center
The Southwest Border Food Protection and Emergency Preparedness Center (the Center) hosted four virtual sessions in the fall regarding drought management and the water outlook. Recordings of the first three drought management sessions are available on YouTubeA recording of the December 14th session can be viewed here.

  • 5 session for Southern and Central New Mexico producers.
  • 10 session for Northern New Mexico producers.
  • 1 session for Eastern New Mexico producers.
  • 14 session for livestock producers (hosted by the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association as part of the Joint Stockmen’s Convention).

Experts from Elephant Butte Irrigation District, Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, National Weather Service, New Mexico Acequia Association, New Mexico Office of the State Engineer, NMSU’s Sustainable Agriculture Science Center at Alcalde, Pecos Valley Artesian Conservancy District and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)–Farm Service Agency (FSA) discussed forecasts, drought updates and risk management tools available.

Local / Conservancy Resources

Elephant Butte Irrigation District (EBID): New Mexico producers rely heavily on irrigation. EBID uses data collected through its state-of-the-art water resource system developed by Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Department Director Patrick Lopez. The public can access this data via the EBID Water Data webpage. EBID works with this real-time data from its acquisition systems, as well as those of other agencies, bringing the most complete data-driven status of the system available to EBID constituents.

Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District

Pecos Valley Artesian Conservancy District

Soil and Water Conservation Districts

State and Federal Resources

Natural Hazard Mitigation Publication (2020)

New Mexico Acequia Association

New Mexico Office of the State Engineer Interstate Stream Commission

USDA-Farm Service Agency:
Producers are encouraged to visit the USDA's farmer webpage for the most up-to-date information and to contact their local FSA Service Center. Search for Farm Service Agencies by county.

USDA-FSA New Mexico Office

USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS):
The New Mexico NRCS Snow Survey Program provides mountain snowpack data and streamflow forecasts for the western United States. Common applications of snow survey products include water supply management, flood control, climate modeling, recreation, and conservation planning.

The USDA-NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program promotes coordination between NRCS and its partners to deliver conservation assistance to producers and landowners. NRCS provides assistance to producers through partnership agreements and through program contracts or easement agreements.
The USDA-NRCS New Mexico office may be reached at 505-761-4400, or contact the NRCS on their website

The  USDA Southwest Regional Climate Hub
Visit the Southwest Climate Hub YouTube channel to watch videos relating to drought monitoring tools and other resources for farmers and ranchers.

Weather Resources

National Weather Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Albuquerque)

National Weather Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (El Paso)

NOAA’s National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), U.S. Drought Portal

The National Drought Mitigation Center – The U.S. Drought Monitor