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“In Every Rancher’s Mind”: Effects of Drought on Ranch Planning and Practice
- Wilmer, Hailey, York, Elisabeth, Kelley, Windy K., Brunson, Mark W.
- Rangelands 2016 v.38 no.4 pp. 216-221
- drought, energy, grazing, income, planning, ranchers, ranching, range management
- Ranchers'’ responses to drought differ depending on where they live and specific circumstances of their ranches, but there are striking similarities across regions. Changes in practice after a drought reflect a general desire to buffer one's operation against disruptions, rather than being specifically aimed at the next drought. Interviewees often pointed to good things that arose from the bad situation of drought. Energy development helped offset drought impacts in two cases, but interviewees generally preferred to diversify their income streams through agricultural rather than non-agricultural enterprises. Ability to respond to drought is somewhat constrained by federal tax laws and agency grazing regulations, as well as by ranchers' specific circumstances.