From Colorado Ag Today (Maura Bennett):
Over 72% of Colorado is in severe or extreme drought conditions according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Extreme drought conditions exist across southern and western Colorado, as well as parts of the eastern plains.
In June Governor Polis activated the Agricultural Impact Task Force to survey the physical and economic impacts on agriculture and recommend opportunities for mitigation.
Agriculture Commissioner Kate Greenberg co-chairs the Ag Impact Task Force and recently spoke with Colorado Ag Today.
Greenberg: “This is really about reporting up from the field what’s going on, what are the impacts, what needs to change in the future. We know that this is becoming more regular. Drought is a part of our life. Water scarcity is becoming an increasing issue across the state whether we’re talking surface or groundwater we’ve got pressures from all sides. Increasing urban development increasing pressures from interstate compacts, developments out of state with states and entities that rely on water that starts here in Colorado.”
She says the drought impacts are clear. Then you add the increased risk of wildfire like what we’re seeing this summer with such aridity in the high country.
Greenberg: “So it’s a reality and part of the work of these task forces, the Ag Impact one in particular, in my mind is not just assessing the near- term impacts, but really thinking about how can we take what we learn from this year and make ag more resilient for the future knowing that we’re going to have more of this in the years ahead.”