The National Integrated Drought Information System has partnered with the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at the University of Georgia to produce a drought outlook and agricultural decision-support document for farmers in the Southeast U.S.
The farmers are members of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives Land Assistance Fund. Part of the Federation's mission is to help family farmers, especially African American farmers, to retain and develop their land. Living in the poorest communities in the southeast, the Federation farmers have limited resources and do not have access to irrigation equipment, leaving them more vulnerable to drought.
The drought outlook and agricultural decision-support document contains an overview of the recent hot and dry conditions in the southeast, a seasonal outlook that indicates a potentially dry winter, and suggestions on cropping, livestock and forage practices and soil improvement techniques for a dry winter. The Federation held their 44th annual meeting at the Rural Training and Research Center in Epes, Alabama on August 19 and 20, 2011 and farmers received this document in their training packet.
This collaboration between NIDIS and UGA began with a study funded through the NOAA Sectoral Applications Research Program - Coping with Drought initiative which resulted in their involvement in the NIDIS Drought Early Warning Information System pilot in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin (located in Alabama, Florida and Georgia). This collaborative document is a first step in reaching out to underserved communities in the South.