From The Pueblo Chieftain (Peter Roper):
Winter snow and spring rain have chased drought conditions out of nearly all of Colorado and farmers are reveling in it by planting “every available acre,” as one Avondale farmer put it.
“It’s terrific. I’m putting in 14-hour days just trying to make use of all the water we’re getting right now,” said Dan Hobbs of Hobbs & Meyer Farms.
The federal US Drought Monitor shows the state virtually clear of any signs of drought except for a small strip in Southeastern Colorado, which is marked as [Abnormally Dry D0].
“This year, we’re chasing water instead,” Hobbs said. “My neighbors are planting every available acre they can find.”
Hobbs said one change he’s made is shifting to some historically durable varieties of wheat and barley, which are more resistant to grasshoppers.
The region has had three summers of bad grasshopper infestations, although Hobbs is expecting that to back off this year.
“Old-timers will tell you hoppers come in three-year cycles and that seems about right,” he said.
More snow and rain have had some drawbacks.
According to Aginfo.net, corn has been slower to emerge because of the cool and damp, and pasture land has been wet enough to keep farmers out of the fields on some days.
San Luis Valley potato growers reported a halt in planting earlier this spring because of wet conditions.
Statewide, the winter wheat is thriving, with 77 of the crop rated as excellent.