Capitol Corridor
University of California
Capitol Corridor

Desert ranchers struggle to endure drought

Ken Tate speaks at a rangeland field day.
Even in northern Nevada, a desert where it rarely rains, the drought is troubling ranchers. They rely on water from the Sierra Nevada snowpack to grow grass and alfalfa for their cattle. This year, the snowpack is barely 20 percent of average, reported National Public Radio.

This presents a financial dilemma for almost every rancher in Nevada, California and Oregon as one of the worst droughts in a century maintains its grip on the West.

For the story, reporter Kirk Siegler spoke to Ken Tate, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis.

He said much of Nevada is going into its third year of severe drought, a situation that's unprecedented even for an arid region accustomed to dry spells.

Tate and his colleagues are helping ranchers squeeze out as much irrigation efficiency as possible, and manage rangelands so the vegetation is more drought-tolerant. But there's only so much that can be done.

"There are not scientific answers to some of these problems. Sometimes there's no solution for not enough rain," Tate said.

Posted on Monday, March 3, 2014 at 11:11 AM
Tags: drought (171), Ken Tate (9)

No Comments Posted.

Leave a Reply

You are currently not signed in. If you have an account, then sign in now! Anonymously contributed messages may be delayed.

Security Code:

Read more

Webmaster Email: