Drought may break over summer

Tonjia Rolan Relief from the state’s extended drought may come this summer, weather experts say. The La Nina weather pattern, responsible for the hot, dry conditions, developed in 2010 and intensified in 2011. National Weather Service meteorologist Deirdre Kann said the dry weather is expected to continue through the spring but as La Nina weakens […]

Farmer: More rain needed to beat drought

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Benna Sayyed Local farmers say recent precipitation in the area has helped their crops a little but much more is needed to alleviate the drought. According to Ed Polasko, service hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque, precipitation levels (rain and melted snow) during October, November, and December 2011 were up slightly from 2010. […]

Drought takes its toll on cotton crop

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By Robin Fornoff: FNM content editor Farmers across the region say this fall’s cotton crop is bad because of the drought but that’s not the worst news. “The worst thing,” farmer Kendall Devault said Thursday standing alongside 200-acre cotton field outside Farwell, “the bad of it all is underground. There’s no deep moisture left. It’s […]

Farmers predict fewer, smaller pumpkins

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Benna Sayyed Pumpkins will be fewer and smaller in size this Halloween, according to local farmers. Eastern New Mexico farmers are experiencing drops of 20 to 30 percent lower than usual. Extreme drought and heat took its toll, they said. “We irrigate our pumpkins, but there is just nothing you can do about 100-degree days,” […]

Green thumb no match for drought

If I ever had a green thumb it has turned black. I’ve lamented recently the condition of my front yard but I have to report with the recent rains it’s starting to green up. Of course the green parts are grass burrs. The rose bushes decided to emerge from their drought-induced dormancy long enough for […]

Drought leading to large number of cattle sell-offs

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Alisa Boswell Livestock owners have been selling their cattle at an alarming rate recently, according to local cattle brokers and ranchers. They cite the lack of feed because of drought conditions for the sell-off. According to Clovis Livestock Auction sales representative Rustin Rowley, in just the last two months, weekly livestock sales have almost tripled, […]

Grant McGee: Drought can’t last forever

“If I wanted to live in Phoenix I’d have moved to Phoenix,” declared The Lady of the House as she came in the back door. It’s been a bad year for the vegetable garden at the Stucco Hacienda. And The Lady of the House puts the blame on the lack of rain. “If we get […]

Local agriculture experts to host drought-management workshop

Argen Duncan Farmers and ranchers dealing with drought have a chance to gain management information with a seminar scheduled for Monday. Admission is free, and no pre-registration is required. The drought-management workshop is geared toward local agricultural producers. “There’s times you need a little more information to make a decision, and I’m hoping some of […]

FSA extending grazing period

Freedom New Mexico The U.S. Farm Service Agency is modifying its Conservation Reserve Program policies to help agricultural producers affected by drought. FSA is permitting farmers and ranchers approved for emergency grazing in drought-stricken states, including New Mexico, to extend the emergency grazing period for a month, to Oct. 31, without an additional payment reduction, […]

Drought could extend fire season

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Alisa Boswell Usually, August and September would mean the end of fire season is approaching for Roosevelt County. But according to state and local fire officials, that may not be the case this year. “This fire season is very comparable to the fire season in 2006,” said Dan Ware, spokesperson for the New Mexico Forestry […]

My turn: Don’t go to ancient rain god production without umbrella

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By Helena Rodriguez: PNT columnist When I lived in Abilene, Texas, a fanatical preacher wrongly predicted a seven-year drought during a desperate dry spell like we’re experiencing this heated summer. At the risk of sounding not-as-fanatical, I predict a major quenching over our Llano Estacado during fair week. Never fails. I don’t recommend a do-it-yourself […]

Officials: Drought may affect fair entries

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Alisa Boswell The drought could change the competition in plant and livestock entries this year at the Curry and Roosevelt county fairs. According to county agriculture officials and local residents who will compete in the annual events, the eastern New Mexico dry weather has definitely had an impact on their plant and animal life. Roosevelt […]

Heat driving up feed prices for dairies

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While dairy cattle are holding up well in the hot, dry weather, the drought is sending forage prices skyrocketing, cutting profits, local members of the dairy industry have said. Dairies deal with heat stress in cattle every summer, said Alan Anderson of Anderson Dairy near Portales. “The problem is the hay shortage,” Anderson said. Because […]

Fire officials dissuade use of fireworks

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Alisa Boswell With extreme drought conditions in New Mexico, local fire officials are saying it’s probably best for Clovis and Portales residents to not set off fireworks at home. Portales Fire Chief Gary Nuckols and Clovis Fire Chief Ray Westerman both agreed that while fireworks are banned in the county and only certain ground fireworks […]

Portales water restrictions effective immediately

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PNT staff Due to drought conditions, high temperatures and low water levels, the City of Portales announced Sunday that Water Emergency Rationing Restrictions were being placed on the city effective immediately. The restrictions include the following: • No outdoor landscape watering, except for trees and shrubs with shut off hose and hand held containers. • […]

Drought conditions tough on farmers

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Argen Duncan Drought is making this year more difficult for area farmers and ranchers, and they say federal aid programs are little help. Dry weather is causing increased input costs and low crop yields, while high fuel prices add to the trouble. Gene Massey, who grows dryland milo and wheat near Rogers, said the drought […]

USDA declares county disaster area

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared Roosevelt, Curry and Quay counties, along with 12 other New Mexico counties, primary natural disaster areas because of losses from drought, high winds and wildfires this year, according to a news release from the department. The declaration makes farmers and ranchers in those counties eligible for federal assistance […]

Drought taking toll on farmers’ markets

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Kevin Wilson The drought in Curry County hasn’t stopped Don Wiley from getting ready for annual farmers’ markets in both Clovis and Portales. “We’re in a dry part of the world anyway,” said Wiley, who grows about 30 varieties of vegetables for the twice-weekly sales. “I’ve always been prepared. I use drip irrigation. Drought in […]

Drought, fires could have far-reaching effects

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Sharna Johnson In the midst of drought and wildfires, eastern New Mexico looks more like a dust bowl everyday. But when the landscape dries up, so does the money, and experts say it’s just the beginning. Self-described as a normally optimistic guy, Curry County Extension Agent Stan Jones said the ecological and economic impact of […]

Animal behavior not unlike ours

In drought times the water in dirt tanks evaporates, soaks into the ground or otherwise disappears — except for a little puddle in the deepest part, usually the middle. Cracks form in the ground around the edges, making a design much like a jigsaw puzzle. Animals smell the water and plod through the fractured earth […]