Training videos, webinars, fact sheets and more.
GUIDES & FACTSHEETS
Practical information and field guides for agricultural professionals, featuring research from state extension offices, research organizations, and federal departments. All factsheets are downloadable PDFs for easy access and use in the field.
- Guide to operating shared water wells in Arizona – UA Extension guide on managing shared wells in Arizona, with focus on contracts, maintenance, and water quality standards.
- How to Build your own Water Well Sounder – Instructions on how to build a simple device to measure the level of water in your well. (UA Extension)
- How to Protect your Well Water – USU Water Quality extension guide on how to protect your well water from contaminants
Alternative Water Sources
- Large-scale rain harvesting for potable supply – Use this guide from the UA extension to determine if large-scale rainwater harvesting is the right approach for you. The guide includes information on factors such as rainfall amounts, treatment, storage, and rebates.
- Preparing Rainwater for Potable Use – Information from the UA extension on various treatment systems and equipment for rainwater.
- Water Harvesting from Low-Standard Rural Roads – Guide from the Quivira Coalition on how to construct and maintain rural roads and harvest runoff water from them
Managing & Monitoring Contaminants
- EPA Guide to Drinking Water Sample Collection – Guidance on best practice for collecting water samples to test for contaminants including asbestos, cyanide, organic contaminants, and more. Includes instructions on sample amounts, storage procedures, and safety measures.
- Ten Ways to Reduce Nitrogen Loads from Drained Cropland in the Midwest – University of Illinois Extension guide on better agricutural drainage practices to reduce nutrient pollution.
Water in Agriculture
- Minimizing Risks: Use of Surface water in Pre-Harvest Agricultural Irrigation – Guide to water quality and treatment for use in agricultural irrigation (UA Extension)
- Livestock Water Quality – Field guide from NDSU Extension on water quality requirements for cattle, horses, poultry, and swine
- Soil Organic Matter as a Soil Health Indicator: Sampling, Testing, and Interpretation – Guide from Oregon State University Extension on understanding soil organic matter, with a focus on testing and management on farms
- Farming with Soil Life – a handbook for supporting soil invertebrates and soil health on farms – Guide from the Xerxes Society for understanding, observing, and supporting soil health on farms, with special focus on soil invertebrates
- Soil Testing Factsheet – A brief factsheet about soil testing procedures from CSU Extension.
- Soil Health Workbook – Workbook from the Quivira Coalition on maintaining dryland soil health, with advice on management strategies and sampling techniques.
Contaminants & Remediation
- How to Detect and Control Heavy Metals on Your Farm or in Your Garden – Guide from Oregon State University Extension on managing heavy metals such as lead and arsenic on farms and gardens
- New Methods of Cleaning up Heavy Metals in Soils and Water – Introduction to excavation, stabilization, and phytoremediation from Kansas State University
- A citizen’s guide to phytoremediation – EPA Guide to understanding phytoremediation (using plants to remove toxic contaminants in soil)
- Working to Avoid Nitrogen Contamination – Guide from NDSU Extension on how to manage and mitigate nitrogen contamination
- Salinization – Guide from USDA NRCS on identifying and managing salinization on farms.
- Dust Mitigation Handbook – Resource developed by the USDA Southwest Climate Hub and the ARS (Agricultural Research Service) with ways to address dust in croplands and rangelands.
- An Introduction to Erosion Control – Field guide on erosion control techniques from the Quivira Coalition
- Erosion Control Treatment Selection Guide – US Forest Service guide to various erosion control treatments. Intended for use on Forest Service lands but applicable to multiple environments.
- Mitigating Postfire Runoff and Erosion – Guide from Ecological Restoration institute on different methods of controlling erosion in burned areas
- Arizona Non-Native Species – Guide to non-native species in Arizona with visual identification aids (UA Extension)
- Invasive Plants of the Sonoran Desert– Visual guide from the Sonoran Institue on recognizing and mitigating the effects of invasive plants
- Top 50 Invasive Species of the West – Western Governor’s Association list of the top 50 invasive species currently in the Western US
- Invasive Plants Field and Reference Guide: an Ecological Perspective of Plant Invaders of Forests and Woodlands – USDA visual guide to identifying and understanding woodland invasive species
- Western US Invasive Species EDRR Weed ID Guide – APHIS Guide to Early Detection and Rapid Response to invasive and noxious weeds in the Western US, with visual identification aids
- A Guide to Grasshopper Control on Rangeland – Guide from University of Nebraska Lincoln (UNL) Extension on grasshopper management strategies
- Blister Beetles in Forage Crops – Colorado State University Extension guide to recognizing and mitigating the effects of blister beetles in forage crops
- Manage Insects on your Farm – A Guide to Ecological Strategies – SARE (Sustainable Agriculture, Research, and Extension) guide to ecological pest management strategies
- Resource Guide for Organic Insect and Disease Management – Guide from SARE on different methods of organic pest control, with crop and pest specific information, fact sheets, and reference images
- Wildlife Damage Control for Organic Farmers– Montana State university guide on controlling pests such as pocket gophers, birds, and deer on organic farms
NOXIOUS PLANTS & WEEDS
- Nevada Guide to Nuisance Weeds – Guide to nuisance weeds with visual identification aids from UNR Extension
- Poisonous Plants on Arizona Rangelands – Visual guide to identifying poisonous plants and information on problem species from UA Extension
- Nevada Noxious Weed Field Guide – Nevada Department of Agriculture field guide to identifying noxious weeds
- Plants Poisonous to Livestock in Montana and Wyoming – Montana State University guide on identifying and managing plants toxic to livestock, as well as improving forage practices
- Integrated Toxic Plant Management Handbook – Guide to toxic plant identification and management from Texas Agricultural Extension Service
Species Fact Sheets
- Leafy Spurge – Guide to Leafy Spurge from Colorado State University Extension
- Spotted Knapweed – Guide to Spotted Knapweed from Jefferson County Noxious Weed Control Board
- Field Guide for Managing Whitetop in the Southwest – USDA field guide to whitetop weed management
- Managing Soapweed Yucca – UNL guide on yucca management
- Control Perennial Snakeweeds – NM State University guide on control of broom and threadleaf snakeweed
- Habitat Planning for Beneficial Insects – Guide from the Xerxes society on how to recognize beneficial insects and create habitats for them on farms
- Farming for Bees – Guidelines from the Xerxes society on how to establish suitable habitats for native bees on farms
- Drought-Tolerant Options for Southwest Agriculture: Edible Produce – Guide from Utah State University Extension on edible produce hardiness, yield, and price.
- Drought-Tolerant Options for Southwest Agriculture – Grasses, Grains, and Legumes – Guide from Utah State University Extension on grasses, grains, and legumes, including price and ideal growing conditions.
- Drought-Tolerant Options for Southwest Agriculture – Ornamentals, Herbs, and Cosmetics – USU Extension guide on growing ornamentals, herbs, and cosmetics in drought conditions.
- Annual Cover Crop Options for Grazing in the Northern Plains – North Dakota State University Extension guide to resilient cover crop options
- AZ Laboratories Conducting Soil Plant Feed or Water Testing – Laboratories in Arizona currently conducting soil, plant, feed, or water testing (as of 8/20)
- Impacts of Drought on Tribal Economies in Arizona – Utah State University Extension publication on the economic impact of drought in Arizona (2020)
- Impacts of Drought on Tribal Economies in Nevada – USU Extension publication analysing the economic impact of drought in Nevada (2020)
- Cultivating Climate Resilience on Farms and Ranches – SARE publication on understanding the impacts of climate change on agriculture and how to mitigate its effects
Explore the featured websites for up to date information, resources, and news about drought and agriculture in the West.
- US Drought Monitor – Regular updates on drought conditions, downloadable data, interactive maps, and drought forecasts.
- Living With Drought – University of Nevada Reno Extension with resources and reporting tools for drought in Nevada.
- US Climate Resilience Toolkit – Tribal Nations – Tools for drought mitigation, risk assessment, and adaptation for tribal communities
- Southwest Tribes and Climate Change (ITEP) – Profiles of Southwestern tribal communities and methods of adapting to climate change from the Institute of Tribal Agricultural Professionals
- Intertribal Agriculture Council – Resources for tribal agricultural professionals, including funding sources, workshops, webinars, and more.
- National Drought Mitigation Center – Tools, resources, and information on managing drought. Includes tools to calculate forage production and extensive resource library.
- Learning from your neighbor: Climate resiliency in agriculture – Storymap from USDA ARS (Agricultural Research Service) detailing strategies for dealing with drought in the west, including no-till agriculture and cover crops. Features instructional videos from western producers.
VIDEOS & WEBINARS
Learn about the innovative ways in which communities in the Southwest are dealing with drought. Scroll through the videos to see interviews with tribal agricultural professionals, presentations by extension agents, and more.
Listen to agricultural professionals talk about the issues facing Western farming today and the ways in which they approach these problems.
Hopi Farming: A 2000 Year Long Agricultural Experiment
Water Challenges - Amy Garrett and Ron Rosmann
Severe Drought increases Tribal Water Woes
REPORTS & PUBLICATIONS
Read high quality, up to date research papers and reports from successful projects on drought mitigation and farming/ranching issues in the West.
- Developing new, space efficient, growing techniques, with water conservation, native fish preservation, and increased crop yields for small farmers. – Project report from Western SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) and Forestdale Farm in Arizona on hydroponic crop production and preservation of the native Roundtail Chub.
- Building productivity and soil health with erosion control structures in arid rangelands: effects of organic amendments and seeding. – Project report from Western SARE and the Quivira Coalition in New Mexico on determining the effect of organic matter and seeding on erosion control and soil health.
- Sustaining Farming in the Arid West: Stories of young farmers, water, and resilience – Summaries of how six young farmers in the four corners area have adapted to drought conditions (National Young Farmers Coalition)
- Irrigation Investment on an American Indian Reservation – Publication from Utah State University Extension on the differenes in agricultural irrigation practices between Uintah-Ouray Indian Reservation and the surrounding lands.
- Producer Preferences for Drought Management Strategies in the Arid West – Publication from USU Extension on different drought management strategies utilized by farmers in the west and the most effective ways to assist growers.
- Vulnerability of Cattle Production to Climate Change on U.S. Rangelands – This USDA publication uses assessment of trends in forage quantity and variability, vegetation type, and heat stress in rangelands to project future trends for cattle production across the US.
- Characterizing Drought Effects on Vegetation Productivity in the Four Corners Region of the US Southwest – Publication from CLIMAS (Climate Assessment for the Southwest) on how drought has affected vegetation productivity from 1989 – 2014 on Navajo and Hopi lands.
- Tribal Water Settlements – Economic Innovations for Adressing Water Conflicts – CLIMAS publication on tribal approaches to Western water management (pp. 38-46)
Explore the latest updates on drought in the southwest from a variety of news sources.
How Severe is the Western Drought? See for yourself.
In this article by the New York Times, explore the effects of drought through a series of interactive maps.
What Tree Rings reveal about America's Megadrought
In this visual article from The Guardian, learn how tree rings can help understand the history of American drought.
Aid for Navajo ranchers hit by drought, pandemic on its way
The Navajo-Hopi Observer reports on availible aid for ranchers in the southwest.
The Gila River Indian Community innovates for a drought-ridden future
Reporting from High Country News on adaptations to drought conditions in Arizona.