EP52 Drought Plans

EP52 Drought Plans

Welcome to the launch of an exciting new series called Getting Through Drought.

It’s safe to say that when it comes to droughts in Alberta, it’s less a matter of if and more a question of when. So, in this series we are exploring the best management practices that cow calf operators in Alberta can use to prepare for the next drought, whenever that may be.

There are very few things that can mess up your grazing plans like a drought. Perhaps you had plans of implementing rotational grazing, or grazing your cover crop. However, when a drought hits, it’s not just your plans that need to be readjusted. As any agriculture producer in Alberta knows, droughts tend to hit hard, not just impacting your stress level but also your bank account.

Join us as we chat with Sean McGrath, of Round Rock Ranching, about creating a plan to help minimize the impact that a drought can have on your operation.



  • 1:52 – Sean McGrath describes his grazing operation.
  • 3:00 – How the sixth principle of regenerative agriculture applies to Sean’s ranch.
  • 5:11 – What is a drought plan?
  • 5:57 – Where is a good place to start when drafting a plan?
  • 9:24 – Sean shares his must-haves when it comes to his plan.
  • 13:44 – How does Sean decide which cows to keep and which to sell?
  • 15:20 – What should cow calf operators consider when determining the timing of their drought plan?
  • 16:51 – What role does winter play when planning? 
  • 18:31 – How important is it to get your family on board?
  • 20:26 – Sean provides some final advice when facing a drought.

Useful Links:

Want to learn more?

Listen to podcast episode 23 Water and Adaptation, and episode 40 – Grazing for Water Infiltration for some additional ideas on what to include in your drought plan. Our Farmer’s Blog is also a great source for stories of producers in Alberta who are going the extra mile with their management practices for the land, food and their communities.