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

s-helenar12.jpg

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

lor9ea-lor9ax723plantlady2.jpg

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

lnzrqd-lnzro478dairiestruckweb.jpg

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

lnockz-lnocca72firesafety2web.jpg

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

lnhe5d-lnhe52628signofthetimes.jpg

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

lmnifk-lmnic5612drout2web.jpg

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

llobto-llobsg524farmersmktdrought2.jpg

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

llhaal-llhaa7520winddustvert.jpg

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 […]