Drought nearly gone in Colorado as farmers deal with frost-damaged crops

Posted at 9:02 PM, May 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-05 21:07:54-04

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- The spring snowstorm that we saw in late April brought some much needed moisture to the state, but negatively impacted southeastern Colorado farmers and their crops, according to Colorado Farm Bureau officials.

The state is currently under abnormally dry conditions, mostly affecting a section of the northern part of the state as well as parts of the southeastern corner, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor’s latest report that was released on Tuesday.

But the moisture has been both a blessing and a curse for farmers. 

The farm bureau activated a disaster relief fund Thursday to help farmers and ranches in Baca and Prowers counties directly impacted by last weekend’s storm.

“With more than two feet of wet, heavy and blowing snow, thousands of cattle and calves succumbed to the elements,” said Colorado Farm Bureau spokesperson Shawn Martini.

He added that because of the timing of the snowstorm, tens of thousands of acres of wheat crops were destroyed in Baca County, the third largest wheat-producing county in the state.

The CFB on Thursday also sent a letter to Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, asking him to declare the two counties a disaster area, a move that would provide them with additional resources to recover from the effects of the snowstorm.

“Farmers are not able to assess the full amount of damage to their crop until the heavy snow melts, and the deep mud dries up,” said Martini. “The result will be millions of dollars in damage and lost revenue in a community already stressed by low commodity prices.

For information on how to help the Colorado Farm Bureau, click here

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