Ranchers, farmers: If drought has you in doubt, this workshop can help out | PostIndependent.com
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Ranchers, farmers: If drought has you in doubt, this workshop can help out

Donna Daniels

The Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Bookcliff, Mount Sopris and South Side Soil Conservation Districts and the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension will host a workshop, “Managing Drought,” from 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5, at the Silt fire station.

Ranchers and farmers can learn about conservation practices to use what little water will be available this year for irrigation, said NRCS district conservationist Dennis Davidson.

“We basically want to help landowners with what they can do. They won’t be irrigating. We’re assuming they won’t be able to get feed, or it’s going to be very expensive if it’s available,” he said.

Leon Padilla, county executive director of the Farm Service Agency, will speak about federal conservation programs that will assist in developing water for livestock, Davidson said. NRCS will pay a share of the cost for drilling wells or developing springs to water livestock, or enhance existing water sources.

The newly passed farm bill also provides for emergency programs, Davidson said. For example, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program provides technical assistance, cost sharing and incentive payments to assist ranchers and farmers with environmental and conservation improvements.

A new program in the farm bill, the Conservation Security Program, provides payments to farmers and ranchers for adopting a wide range of conservation practices dealing with water, soil and wildlife, Davidson said.

John Denison, district forester with the Colorado State Forest Service, will speak about protecting your home and property from wildfire.

A trio of Cooperative Extension specialists will wrestle with the thorny question many ranchers will face this year, “Should I buy hay, sell cows, truck cows, buy cows … or go to the beach?”

Cooperative Extension specialists Robbie Baird LeValley, Wayne Cooley, and Rod Sharp will discuss issues of range and pasture management, irrigation and the livestock economy in this drought year.

The workshop is free and open to the public. For information, call the NRCS at 945-5494, ext. 101.


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