CDQAP’s DROUGHT INFO PAGE for California Dairy Producers


The current 2014 winter season remains the driest since record keeping began in the 1800’s. According to tree ring data, this may actually be the longest, most severe drought in California in the last 500 years. Snow pack remains at about 20% of normal and most farmers are anticipating little or no water deliveries.

The California Dairy Quality Assurance Program is ramping up drought-related outreach which will include workshops, assistance application sessions and on-line resources.

Our goal for this website is to highlight relevant drought related announcements and information for California dairy producers.

 Available information:

  • financial assistance program information & deadlines,
  • upcoming meetings,  
  • website links, and
  • publications of interest to dairy producers with critically limited water resources.

 If you are aware of drought information or resources not covered below that are relevant to dairy producers, please contact Dr. Michael Payne at                   ********************

Multi-agency Drought Meeting in Cloverdale March 17th                                                                                      CDFA has announced it will host a multi-agency drought outreach meeting March 17th from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm at the Cloverdale Citrus Fair Auditorium in Cloverdale California.

CDQAP Drought Assistance Workshop in Two Rock March 18th                                                                              As described below, the USDA’s Farm Services Agency (FSA) is accepting applications for its Emergency Conservation Practices (ECP) program funding until March 27th. The program will reimburse livestock owners for costs associated with providing drinking water for livestock during severe drought. CDQAP partners (including UC Cooperative Extension, Western United Dairymen and the Farm Services Agency) will be available on March 18th in the Two Rock California Meeting Hall from 10 am to 1 pm to assist producers applying for those funds.

Emergency Water Assistance Application March: 27th Deadline                                                     The USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) has announced emergency funding focusing livestock producers with emergency water needs.  Under the Emergency Conservation Practices (ECP) program, potential projects include rehabilitation of spring developments, new or deepening of livestock wells, development of seeps, and pipeline, tanks, troughs and dugouts. The program will also assist with water hauling costs to confined livestock. This program may be most applicable to dairy farms having cows or young-stock on rangeland that are facing an immediate shortage of livestock drinking water. The deadline for application is March 27th, 2014.                                                   

Livestock Forage Disaster Program Application to begin in April                                                    The LFP provides compensation for eligible livestock producers who have suffered grazing losses due to drought or fire. Some of this funding is available for some counties going back to October 2011. Sign-up will begin on or before April 15th. Contact your local FSA office.                        

Records & Receipts You’ll Need for Drought Assistance                                                                    USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Juan M. Garcia urges livestock producers affected by natural disasters such as the current California drought to keep thorough records of their livestock and feed losses, including additional expenses for such things as feed purchases because of lost supplies. When program funding becomes available, frequently the application periods are short and having documentation of your drought-related expenses immediately accessible can facilitate meeting application deadlines.                                                                                                                            

UC Whitepaper on Drought-Related Feed Toxicity                                                                              The California Animal Health and Food Safety (CAHFS) Laboratory released a review paper Drought-Related Poisoning and Nutritional Risks to Cattle. Included in the paper is information on water quality, nutritional deficiencies and toxicities of poor-quality forages and by-product feed issues. This paper may be of particular interest to producers with cows or young-stock on rangeland.                                                                                         

Informational Drought Meeting in Petaluma June 13th                                                                                             The local Resource Conservation District has scheduled an informational meeting on drought management in Petaluma, California on Friday, June 13th. Hold the date.  More information will be provided as it becomes available.

CDQAP Workshops coming this Summer: Nutrient Management & Drought                                 Crop and nutrient management during drought conditions have special challenges, particularly regarding Nutrient Management Plan regulatory obligations. CDQAP partners are developing workshops to cover special considerations regarding cow nutrition when forage is tight  and nutrient management during the drought. The workshops will be held at various locations through the state. Watch dairy industry communications for dates and locations.  More information on the workshops will be provided as available.

CDFA and USDA Announce Centralized Drought “Portals”                                                               Both CDFA and NRCS have announced central websites where links to all drought-related information can be accessed. CDQAP is working with our State and Federal partners will be periodically reviewing these websites to identify information pertinent to dairy producers.

CDFA Drought Portal

NRCS Drought Portal

UC ANR Drought Portal


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