Alabama Drought Reach (ADR) is a new program at Auburn University Water Resources Center in partnership with the AL Office of the State Climatologist, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Alabama Agriculture Experiment Station, and USGS Water Resources Research Institute. ADR is working to better document drought’s agricultural impacts in Alabama, resulting in a more informed scientific and agricultural community.
The primary goal of the program is to protect farmers who experience crop loss from drought. Insurance companies rely on the U.S. Drought Monitor to see if farms were in drought and whether it was long enough to garner crop loss insurance. The Alabama Office of the State Climatologist provides input to the Alabama specific map, and they want to make sure farms experiencing drought are properly represented.
Alabama Drought Reach is helping them do this by building an agricultural impact reporting system that will provide relevant and timely data about the dryness of farms and the health of their commodities. This impact reporting system will be a survey that Extension Agents fill out on a weekly basis, and we hope it will also serve to build a stronger relationship between the agricultural community and the state climate office.
Aside from assisting farmers, there is also a general communication component to ADR. We want to increase drought literacy in the general public through weekly crop and drought condition graphics that are posted on our Twitter (now X) (@ALDroughtReach) and our website.
We are also planning for other outreach material like articles on the Alabama Extension website and a state-wide drought email list. We are excited to launch the ADR Drought Survey in 2024! In the meantime, follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on drought conditions in Alabama. If you have any questions regarding the program, please contact the program coordinator Brianne Minton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ADR Weekly Drought Graphic. Photo Credit: Brianne Kendall, AUWRC