About 85% of North Dakota is experiencing some level of drought and many ranchers are concerned the drought will extend into the 2021 grazing season.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, all of North Dakota was considered at least abnormally dry as of Jan. 19. South Dakota is in a similar situation, while drought conditions also have started to spread into eastern Montana and western Minnesota. Western Iowa also continues to experience drought conditions.

North Dakota State University Extension specialists will host a live webinar series to assist ranchers as they prepare for drought. The series will start at 1 p.m. Central Standard Time on Thursday, Feb. 11.

“This webinar will give North Dakota ranchers a chance to learn about different drought management strategies that will aid them in developing a drought plan for their ranch, as well as give them an opportunity to discuss drought-related concerns,” says Miranda Meehan, NDSU Extension livestock environmental stewardship specialist.

The webinar will cover the following topics:

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  • Thursday, Feb. 11 — drought outlook.

  • Thursday, Feb. 18 — drought trigger dates and grazing strategies.

  • Thursday, Feb. 25 — supplemental feed and forage options.

  • Thursday, March 11 — herd management and reduction strategies.

  • Thursday, March 18 — managing stress during drought.

“It is important that ranchers have a drought management plan in place early so they are prepared and able to make timely decisions if drought persists,” Meehan says.

To register for the webinar, visit https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/drought.

Participants may ask questions during the live webinar. The webinar will be recorded and the recording will be archived at https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/drought for later viewing.