Building Drought Resistance

— Written By
en Español / em Português

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.


Inglês é o idioma de controle desta página. Na medida que haja algum conflito entre o texto original em Inglês e a tradução, o Inglês prevalece.

Ao clicar no link de tradução, um serviço gratuito de tradução será ativado para converter a página para o Português. Como em qualquer tradução pela internet, a conversão não é sensivel ao contexto e pode não ocorrer a tradução para o significado orginal. O serviço de Extensão da Carolina do Norte (NC State Extension) não garante a exatidão do texto traduzido. Por favor, observe que algumas funções ou serviços podem não funcionar como esperado após a tradução.


English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

The last thing we want is to face a drought, but unfortunately, it is an all-too-common
part of farming in North Carolina. Nearly every year we face this same situation in July and August as the heat rises and rain becomes scarce. We know that drought is
common, and we should take the necessary steps to prepare.

Here are some methods we can use to help us prepare for drought.

1- Build ponds
Ponds are good for multiple reasons but the main one is that we can use them to
capture excess runoff water and store it for future use. Ponds can ease ambient
temperature differences because of their large thermal mass. I’m sure we’ve all
heard that it takes a lot of energy to change the temperature of water by one
degree. Ponds also offer evapotranspiration opportunities for potential cloud
formation. But most of all ponds provide the opportunity for irrigation. One inch of
water on one acre is 30,000 gallons. That means even a half-acre pond that is 6
feet deep will hold over a million gallons of water! On average it costs around a
penny a gallon to build ponds in this area.

2- Build Organic Matter
Increasing the organic matter in your soil can help it retain more water and
defend your farm against drought. One percent of organic matter can hold 20,000
gallons of water per acre. Increased organic matter helps the rain to absorb
faster during those hard and fast rain events, as well as hold onto it long after
they are gone. By using cover crops, rotational grazing, and compost we can
increase the organic matter in our soils and beat the drought.

3- Keep the soil covered
The soil should never be naked. Much like us when the soil is exposed to direct
sunlight it gets hotter than it should and causes an increased rate of evaporation.
Keeping a good thick layer of vegetation or mulch on the soil is like people using
sunscreen and wearing a straw hat. It keeps us from getting sunburnt and reduces evaporation. When soil temperatures reach over 100 degrees we see a
significant decrease in microbial activity and often a high rate of die off. These
microorganisms are what turn dirt to soil! We need to protect the soil and the
many microorganisms alive in it by keeping it covered. We can measure the soil
temperature on bare ground this time of year to often be north of 150 degrees,
while soil with good vegetative cover can be measured at around 75 degrees.