According to some local ag producers and support industry specialists, the very future of Uncompahgre Valley production may hinge on developing more efficient use of water.
That water-use goal in turn depends, they say, on adoption of practices that bring new technology in water management, field work and soil tillage to local farm and ranch operations — a broad range of techniques known as soil health.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture has adopted the first industrial hemp rules in the state's history; the rule became effective Dec. 30. Producers can begin to register with CDA's industrial hemp program on March 1.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has extended the deadline for new enrollments in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) for fiscal year 2014. Producers interested in participating in the program can submit applications to NRCS through Feb. 7.
Colorado experienced a fair amount of tumult and controversy related to water in 2013. We entered the year facing an epic drought, which then dissipated. Epic floods on the Front Range in September inflicted significant damage to water infrastructure.