Drought news: Governor Hickenlooper requests drought assistance for Baca, Prowers and Otero counties

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From the Colorado Independent (Scot Kersgaard):

“Colorado’s southern counties are experiencing significant drought resulting in failed grain crops as well as the loss of forage for livestock,” the governor’s letter said. Baca, Crowley and Otero counties asked Hickenlooper to seek the federal assistance and be declared primary drought disaster areas. The declaration, if approved, would allow farmers and ranchers to apply for emergency loans if they are unable to obtain credit elsewhere.

More drought coverage from The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

Emergency grazing of Conservation Reserve Program acreage has been approved for eight Southern Colorado counties: Baca, Otero, Crowley, Kiowa, Prowers, Bent, Pueblo and Las Animas. “This authorization provides relief for many Colorado livestock producers who have suffered through severe drought conditions,” said Trudy Kareus, state executive director of the Colorado Farm Service Agency. “The drought has depleted hay supplies and affected the growth of hay and pasture in parts of Colorado. Many livestock producers cannot maintain their current herds without implementation of . . . emergency grazing,” Kareus said. Emergency grazing is allowed through Sept. 30.

The authorization calls for participants to leave at least 25 percent of each field or contiguous reserve program fields ungrazed for wildlife, or graze not more than 75 percent of the stocking rate. And all livestock must be removed by the end of this grazing period.

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