Rangeland Drought

To help rangeland producers during drought-related hardships, the Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA), in cooperation with the Idaho Cattle Association, Idaho Woolgrowers, Idaho Farm Bureau, and other state and federal agencies, initiated the Idaho Rangeland Drought Task Group (IRDTG) in 2002. The group improves coordination to reduce potential drought-related conflicts and hardships by informing producers of available drought assistance from federal, state, and other agencies. Idaho experienced severe drought conditions during 2012 and 2013. In early 2014, federal and state agencies re-initiated the IRDTG to discuss current drought related conditions on Idaho rangelands.

The IRDTG works collaboratively with operators to address drought conditions throughout Idaho, and help manage changes that may be necessary to ensure healthy, functional rangelands. The intent of the IRDTG is to present potential alternatives to producers and facilitate coordination between state and federal land management agencies.

Cover Crop Exchange: A Grazing Alternative

The IRDTG proposes a cover crop grazing exchange as way to help producers impacted by drought and wildfire. We are currently looking for farmers willing to grow forage cover crops due to inadequate water supplies from drought conditions to grow marketable crops. The forage cover crop acreages would be made available for livestock grazing to ranchers in need of immediate forage due to drought conditions or wildfire. The forage cover crops will not only protect the farmer’s fields from wind erosion, but provide vital livestock forage for fellow producers.

For more information on cover crops, contact your local NRCS office. USDA has also developed a brief fact sheet regarding this program.

Looking to engage in the program? To list cover crops that are available for grazing opportunities or if you are looking for pasture for livestock grazing, sign up with the confidential information exchange program at www.idahocattle.org/grazingshare.aspx.


More Management for Drought

 University of Idaho Range Extension

 Forecasts and Other information

 Other Agency Websites