From the Valley Courier (Ruth Heide):
Rio Grande Water Conservation District Manager Steve Vandiver told the water board during their meeting in Alamosa on Tuesday that some of the irrigators who were going to fallow their land in the first sub-district area this year opted to go with prevented planting instead because it would pay them more than the sub-district.
Vandiver said the sub-district ended up with about 9,100 acres under contract for fallowing this year.
“It was higher than that, and as insurance programs kicked in for prevented planting, people started withdrawing their contracts,” Vandiver told the board. “A number of people withdrew their offers to fallow.”
Farmers could receive $500-600 per acre under prevented planting, while the sub-district was only paying $200-300 per acre, Vandiver explained.
He said at least 18,000 acres would be fallowed to some extent under the prevented planting program, and although that would not entail 100 percent dry up, “there’s a considerable amount of ground that’s going to have a lot less growing on it this year than it has before.”