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New AFBF Survey Shows Drought’s Increasing Toll on Farmers and Ranchers

by Danny Munch

With over 60% of the American West, Southwest and Central Plains categorized as D3 (severe) drought or higher, AFBF conducted a third round of its survey to evaluate drought’s continued impact on farm and ranch businesses. A summary of June 2021 survey results can be found here and October 2021 results here.

The 17 states including and north of Texas, up along the Central Plains to North Dakota and west to California are vital to the U.S. agricultural sector, supporting nearly half of the nation’s $364 billion production by value. This includes 74% of beef cattle, responsible (in total) for 18% of U.S. agricultural production by value; 50% of dairy production, responsible (in total) for 11% of U.S. agricultural production by value, over 80% of wheat production by value and over 70% of vegetable, fruit and tree nut production by value. Drought conditions, which have persisted well into 2022, put production of these commodities at risk, along with the stability of farms, ranches and local economies reliant on crops, livestock and downstream products and services for income.

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