Advances in Meteorology / 2019 / Article / Tab 1

Research Article

Drought Early Warning and the Timing of Range Managers’ Drought Response

Table 1

Descriptive statistics.

Operation characteristicsProportions or means (n)

Types of livestock producedBeef cattle—97% (n = 237)

Total hectaresMean 1,893 (SE 2,369) (n = 234)

Operation gross sales ($)<25,000—10
25,000–99,999—30%
100,000–249,000—33%
250,000–499,999—17%
500,000+—9% (n = 229)

Use and influence of drought monitoring informationOn-farm rain gauge (n = 237), mean = 1.58 (SD 1.19)
Own assessment (n = 234), mean = 2.13 (SD 1.17)
Local extension resources (n = 236), mean = 0.60 (SD 0.95)
National weather service (n = 235), mean = 1.60 (SD1.08)
U.S. drought monitor (n = 236), mean = 1.23 (SD 1.15)
USDA resources (n = 232), mean = 0.88 (SD 1.08)
Television/radio reports (n = 234), mean = 1.69 (SD 0.98)

Average 3-month SPEI between October 2015 and June 2016 experienced by respondentsMean = −0.10 (SD 0.26), with a range of −0.60 to 0.57 (n = 246)

Conditions observed by respondentsDecreased topsoil moisture (n = 250)—96%, May (mode)
Delayed or lack of plant emergence (n = 225)—74%, May
Decreased subsoil moisture (n = 239)—96%, June
Delayed or lack of plant growth (n = 243)—91%, June
Decreased forage productivity (n = 235)—94%, June
Deteriorating range conditions (=n235)—94%, July

Actions taken and mode monthGraze fall or winter pastures earlier than planned (n = 228), 68%, Sept
Destock pastures more than usual (n = 224), 56%, Sept
Purchase more supplemental hay/feed than usual (n = 224), 57%, Oct
Cull and sell more breeding animals than usual (n = 221), 47%, Oct
Took none of these actions (n = 235), 14% N/A

Mean percent loss from 2016 droughtPasture hay yield (n = 197), 65.76% (31.86)
Range productivity (n = 180), 49.17% (24.72)
Range health or diversity (n = 134), 38.31% (30.37)
Animal gain or productivity (n = 158), 12.18% (16.68)
Net income of operation (n = 196), 32.52% (22.50)
Cash reserves or savings (n = 151), 25.15% (26.27)

Would have acted earlier or differently, given earlier warning28% yes (n = 243)

Would have seen less harm, given different/earlier action25% yes (n = 241)

Data sources: 2016 survey, SPEI (droughtatlas.unl.edu).

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