Drought news: Colorado crop production down in 2012 #codrought

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From the North Forty News (Doug Conarroe):

According to the Jan. 11 report, Colorado wheat production fell 9.3 percent, from 81.8 million bushels in 2011 to 74.8 million in 2012 even though acres harvested increased by 6.7 percent — from 2 million acres in 2011 to 2.2 million acres in 2012.

Corn production dropped 29 percent in 2012, to 134.3 million bushels, from the 2011 total of 172.9 million bushels. 1.42 million acres were planted in corn in 2012 versus 1.5 million acres in 2011. The corn yield stayed the same from year to year, at 133 bushels per acre.

“The drops in output from 2011 to 2012 are hands down due to the drought,” said Bill Meyer, NASS Colorado field office director.

And 2013 doesn’t look good, according to Meyer. So much so that some Northern Colorado farmers are moving from corn crop to less moisture- and irrigation-dependent crops such as wheat.

“Farmers still had subsoil moisture in early 2012, plus the reservoirs were full from the heavy runoff from 2011′s snowfalls,” said Meyer. “Because of drought conditions we don’t have that much-needed subsoil moisture this year, and the reservoirs are low.”[...]

Production of Colorado hay alfalfa dropped ten percent in 2012, to 2.6 million tons, from the 2011 total of 2.88 million tons. 750,000 acres were planted in hay alfalfa in 2012 versus 800,000 acres in 2011.

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