This past week I introduced legislation with Senator Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) to reauthorize the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), which provides vital drought information to farmers, ranchers and other industries affected by weather conditions. Since the NIDIS Act was signed into law long-term plans for drought prevention, research and education have been developed. The Drought Information Act of 2012, would extend these programs until 2017. This year, as half of the continental United States faced the worst drought in nearly 70 years, timely drought information was a vital resource. All drought response and disaster declarations are based on the drought monitor, which is part of the NIDIS. Preserving these programs gives farmers and ranchers the best chance as they face the biggest challenge in agriculture -- Mother Nature.