UACES Facebook Drought Effects in Arkansas | Arkansas Drought Resources

Drought Effects in Arkansas

MAROONED -- A duck decoy is left stranded in what was a Little River County stock pond as SW Arkansas endures a second year of drought. Photo dates from Aug. 2010 (University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture photo by Joe Paul Stuart)

Drought has been a significant issue for Arkansas farmers and ranchers beginning in 2010. While drought had receded by November 2013, its effects will linger for years to come. In the ag sector, the state's beef cattle operations have been hardest hit, with a 2012 University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture study finding a $128 million impact

The drought and heat killed many bermudagrass pastures, not only in Arkansas, but also other places in the South, making hay scarce and prices rise. Heat and lack of rain also emptied many stock ponds, forcing some ranchers to truck in water to help their herds. 

Arkansas' row crops largely escaped the effects of drought, thanks to irrigation and abundant underground and some surface water sources. However, many farmers paid more in diesel than they had budgeted, to keep the irrigation pumps running and their crops alive.

Drought Publications and other resources

  • Impact of the 2012 Drought on Field Crops and Cattle Production in Arkansas

    A summary of how the 2012 drought affected row crops and cattle production in Arkansas.

  • Southern Risk Management Education Center

    Established in 2009, the center coordinates risk management education programs throughout the southern region primarily through a regional competitive grants program serving the states/territories of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The Center strives to build networks and relationship throughout the region with growers and industry stakeholders that are diverse and grassroots based.  Our ultimate goal is to deliver results by educating producers.