Drought news: Spring storms brought too little water too late #COdrought


From the Fort Collins Coloradoan (Bobby Magill):

The spring storms brought too little water too late, and late May and June were dry enough to wither some farmers’ hope. The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday declared 38 Colorado counties natural disaster areas because of the drought, making farmers eligible for additional Farm Service Agency assistance. Those counties include Larimer County, which is suffering through one of the 25 driest water years on record. Weld County is not included in the natural disaster declaration…

In March, Wellington farmer Richard Seaworth expected just such a bleak growing season this year as he considered a dry summer ahead and possibly laying off staff as a result. But the spring storms kept the worst from happening, and he didn’t lay off any workers. “We were able to get the crops up without using all our water,” he said.

Seaworth, who primarily grows sugar beets, beans and wheat, fallowed 20 percent of his land this season because of the drought. The remaining 80 percent has been planted and looks good right now, he said. But with water supplies dwindling, Seaworth said he’s unsure if there will be enough to finish the crops he started. “It’s our own fault,” he said. “We were warned.”

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