RRV, Colorado Growers’ Woes

Published online: May 08, 2002
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Growers in the Red River Valley of North Dakota and Minnesota are just opposite of climatic conditions of growers in Colorado’s San Luis Valley.

RRV growers are waiting out daily drizzles and wet fields while in the SLV growers are nearly done planting in dry, dusty conditions.

RRV growers have planted very few potatoes to date, with most areas too wet to start. In fact, many areas have just partially planted their wheat.

In Colorado, low mountain snowpacks and very little runoff have growers on edge. One grower said his canal would not have a drop of water this year, the first time it has gone empty since it was built in 1928.

Most areas will depend on their deep-well pumping, but because of low water tables, which were not recharged this spring, things could get touchy. Some have already been told they will be limited in the amount of water they can pump.

Over the last two weeks, the area has been blasted by daily winds. There has been no significant rainfall.