Colorado Remains Dry, Dusty

Published online: May 21, 2002
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Weather conditions that have brought historic drought conditions to Colorado have not changed in the past few days.

The first heavy toll taken by the drought is more than 500,000 acres of wheat, mostly in eastern Colorado. It has been declared a total loss and it is too late to plant another crop.

In the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado, a potato-growing region, growers are done planting their potatoes but already projections are for low yields. Many growers do not think they will have enough irrigation water to complete their crops.

Long-time growers are saying this is the worse they’ve seen in more than 30 years. They say the wells won’t keep up with a lack of recharge from last spring’s very low mountain runoff.

Ranchers with grazing allotments are reportedly selling cattle as quickly as possible. Dairy farmers are saying there won’t be enough hay for their herds.

All irrigation canals and ditch/laterals are going dry in the hay country.

Now, agricultural experts are saying that because of the parched, dry ground that if the state does get rain it will probably flood rather than soak the ground.

Colorado experts are already predicting that this year’s drought will take a continued toll on the number of farmers in the state, closing a lot of chapters in the farming industry.