See more from this Session: General Soil Physics: II (Includes Graduate Student Competition)
Monday, October 17, 2011
Henry Gonzalez Convention Center, Hall C, Street Level
Annual variations in rangeland productivity are mainly due to variations in the amount and timing of precipitation. Livestock producers that depend on rangelands for grazing face difficult decisions during times of drought. Imbalances between herd size and rangeland productivity during dry spells may severely impact the health of the rangeland resource, while short-term reductions in herd size may seriously hurt profits. Various drought indices are currently available that could potentially assist rangeland managers in making decisions during times of drought. Unfortunately, these indices are generally not detailed enough to assess rangeland drought problems at the local to regional level. Data from distributed soil moisture monitoring networks may be used to fill the gap between large scale drought indices and local drought conditions. Results from a combined soil moisture monitoring and computer modeling study are presented to quantify drought conditions in Wyoming rangelands.