CDQAP’s DROUGHT INFO PAGE for California Dairy Producers

drought pic 5The current 2015 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 in the Sierra Mountains is minimal and most farmers are anticipating little or no water deliveries.

The goal of this California Dairy Quality Assurance Program webpage is to highlight relevant drought related announcements, useful information pages and assistance programs available to California dairy producers as they navigate this challenging season.


Available information:

  • financial assistance program information,
  • website links for agencies & key information, 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          


CDQAP Article – Managing Nutrients during the Drought 

Dr. Deanne Meyer, UCCE Livestock Waste Management Specialist and CDQAP Environmental Module Coordinator, highlights some key activities for producers to undertake during the drought to help ensure compliance with water quality regulations.CDQAP Newsletter Volume IX, Issue I Spring 2015 (PDF)

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.

Livestock Forage Disaster Program

The LFP is offered through the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) 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. Contact your local FSA office for additional information and deadlines.

Records & Receipts You Will 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.

CDFA and USDA  Centralized Drought “Portals”                                                                             CDFA and NRCS have 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