Tag Archives: SLV Ranchers Farmers

Saguache News – September 27

Agricultural News: Funding and Photos

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Ranching has been part of the San Luis Valley for generations, producing top-quality beef for the dinner table. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

There is some agricultural news coming out from the state folks that might be of interest to those living in Saguache Today. The first news brief provides information about funding available for agricultural hydropower projects. The second offers details on a photo contest that has an agricultural twist. Here’s some agricultural #NewsYouCanUse.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) are seeking applicants for on-farm agricultural hydropower projects. The total amount of available assistance for this round is $1,200,000. The funding is available to Colorado agricultural irrigators with appropriate hydropower resources. 

“This program gives producers a way to cut their costs and use their resources efficiently. It’s about water quantity, water quality, and energy resources,” said Sam Anderson, CDA’s Energy Specialist, “We focus on helping farmers upgrade outdated and labor-intensive flood-irrigation systems to more efficient pressurized-irrigation systems using hydropower, or retrofit existing sprinkler systems with a hydropower component.” 

The funding is part of the NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). Within RCPP, the Colorado irrigation hydropower program provides funding to agricultural producers to help them add hydropower to new or existing irrigation systems. 

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Saguache is part of the major hay-producing San Luis Valley region. It is also second behind potatoes as the Valley’s most harvested crop. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

For example, past projects have helped farmers use irrigation water to generate electricity, offsetting some of the cost of power for those farms. Other projects have allowed farmers to run large center-pivot sprinkler systems on hydro-mechanical power without the need for any electricity. 

The overall hydro program is funded and assisted by 14 agencies and groups, collectively contributing $3 million to the effort for project funding and technical assistance for Colorado agricultural producers. 

CDA is currently accepting applications for the next round of RCPP irrigation hydro projects. The application deadline is October 19, 2018.  Applicants must be eligible to receive funding from the NRCS EQIP program. For more information and to submit an application, visit the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s ACRE3hydropower website, or contact Sam Anderson at 303-869-9044 or CDA_hydro@state.co.us.

Photo Contest Focuses on “Spirit” of Agriculture 

Colorado’s agricultural landscapes provide the perfect subject for photographers. It’s once again time to capture the “spirit” of Colorado agriculture through pictures. The 21st annual “Colorado…it’s AgriCultural” photography contest is seeking entries as a way to celebrate the state’s agricultural heritage. 

“It is always exciting to see how people capture the beauty of agriculture in photos,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Don Brown. “The diversity of Colorado agriculture truly shines in this contest.” 

Entries must be submitted to the Colorado Department of Agriculture via e-mail with an official entry form by December 31, 2018. All photographs must be taken in the 2018 calendar year and must relate to Colorado agriculture in some way. Prizes will be awarded in six subject areas: crops, livestock, people, open professional, urban agriculture and ag from above. Amateur and professional photographers are encouraged to enter, however, professionals may only enter agriculture-related photographs in the “open professional” category. 

Judging will be based on theme, creativity and technical quality. The photographer whose picture best depicts the “spirit” of Colorado agriculture will receive $150, and category winners will receive a “Colorado…it’s AgriCultural” prize pack. All winning photographs will be displayed in the Beede-Hamil Agriculture Building at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colo., and will be posted online at www.coloradoagriculture.com

Visit www.coloradoagriculture.com/aginsights for complete contest rules and an entry form. The contest is sponsored by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, the AgInsights Committee and Northeastern Junior College.

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Enter YOUR photo in the “spirit” of Agriculture photo contest. The deadline is the end of the year, so start getting those photos together!





Saguache News – August 29

Hay Directory Out for Colorado

The 2018 Colorado Hay Directory, published by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, is now available. You may find Saguache County suppliers on page 15 of the report. Other San Luis Valley farmers are included as well.

“With dry conditions in Colorado and across the country, this publication helps connect horse and livestock owners with the hay they need,” said Wendy White, marketing specialist for the Colorado Department of Agriculture. “It is a valuable resource for both producers and buyers.” Colorado Hay Directory

The 32nd edition of the Colorado Hay Directory features producers and brokers of hay as well as companies that provide hay-related products and services. Categorized by region, each listing includes the type and amount of hay available, bale type and size, whether or not laboratory analysis is available, certified weed free status and identifies organic hay. 

The Colorado Hay Directory is published by the Colorado Department of Agriculture in cooperation with participating Colorado hay producers, Colorado State University Extension, and with support from Hutchison Incorporated, KeyAg and Tytan International. 

The directory and other hay resources are available online at www.coloradoagriculture.com. For more information or to request a copy of the 2018 Colorado Hay Directory, call the Colorado Department of Agriculture at (303) 869-9175.

Saguache News – July 30

Tour Highlights Severe Drought

Last Monday, July 23, Colorado agricultural leaders, including Lt. Governor Donna Lynne and Commissioner of Agriculture Don Brown, attended a “Drought Impacts Tour” designed to highlight the challenges Southwest Colorado farmers and ranchers are facing given the continuing drought and recent fires. 

Jonathan Patcheck, a brand inspector from Southwest Colorado speaks during the drought tour about the impacts of the drought and the 416 fire on his ranch

Jonathan Patcheck, a brand inspector from Southwest Colorado speaks during the drought tour about the impacts of the drought and the 416 fire on his ranch.

The tour by the Colorado Drought Task Force was comprised of representatives from the Colorado Department of Agriculture, Department of Natural Resources, and Local Affairs and Public Safety. The intent of the tour was to assess conditions. hear directly from those most impacted by the persistent drought and wildfires, and become informed on how the State can help with both response and recovery. 

“The Drought Tour offered us the opportunity to see first-hand the impact the exceptionally dry conditions have had on soils and crops. Colorado farmers and ranchers are often faced with challenges outside of their control such as the economy, market prices, and drought. 

Right now, we are facing all three and if there is something we, as a state, can do to help them through these tough times, it’s important that we look into it,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Don Brown. 

Commissioner Brown listened to farmers and ranchers from Southwest Colorado as the Drought Tour makes a stop in Hesperus

Commissioner Brown listened to farmers and ranchers from Southwest Colorado as the Drought Tour makes a stop in Hesperus.

The tour included discussing public lands grazing sites, as well as private producers and ranchers – ranging from small to large operations.  The Isgar Ranch in Hesperus, Colorado, was also part of the tour where the group heard from ranchers about how they are navigating water shortages, crop loss and high costs of feed. The day also included discussions on drought impacts related to fire, flood, tourism, wildlife, economic and public health.  The tour wrapped up with a listening session where the public could have their voices heard and directly liaise with decision makers. 

Southern Colorado has been experiencing below normal precipitation conditions since last fall.  Currently, 13 percent of the state is classified as in exceptional drought, while 27 percent is classified in extreme drought, an additional 21 percent is experiencing severe drought according to the US Drought Monitor. Governor Hickenlooper activated the Colorado Drought Mitigation and Response Plan on May 2nd to facilitate agency response.

During the Drought Tour on Monday Commissioner Brown looks at a water sample taken from Hermosa Creek on Sunday after a small rain.

During the Drought Tour on Monday, July 23 Commissioner Brown looks at a water sample taken from Hermosa Creek on Sunday, July 22 after a small rain.