SLV Hurt By Too Much Rain

Published online: Sep 04, 2001
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It will be a touch-and-go situation in the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado as relentless monsoonal rains have hung over the area since late June.

While growers are excited about the prospects of a good harvest with the rains, which have cut back on the need for irrigation, they are very worried that the cooler, wet weather could produce late blight.

Late blight was found during the flowering cycle in August but many growers are now killing vines to spur tuber bulking. It is believed the late blight scare is over for another year.

The rains have been hard on other crops, causing mold in grain, stopping the growth of other vegetables, and leaving fields in muddy conditions. Much of the second cutting of alfalfa was ruined.

Weather problems started in mid-June when temperatures fell to 26-28 degrees. The frost killed over 7,500 acres of winter wheat and set back the potato and barley crops by three weeks.

The rains have also hurt the malt-barley crop, with Coors only accepting 20 percent so far with about 90 percent harvested.