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Weld County Farmers Cutting Back On Water During Drought

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4)- Farmers in Weld County and in other parts of the Colorado plains are dealing with drought conditions.

“You have to be really careful how you use your water this year,” said Fagerberg Farms employee Rod Weimer. “This year it’s been really tough because the ground started off really dry.”

A low snowpack last year means lower than normal runoff from the mountains into Colorado’s water supply.

“This water situation is depleting everyday,” said Weimer. “It’s probably the worst I’ve ever seen.”

That translates into not enough water for farmers. Fagerberg Farms is a major producer of onions and beans.

“There are 95 acres and I usually plant the whole 95 acres of corn but this year I’ve only planted 43 acres,” said Weimer. “There’s no moisture in the soil at all, it’s just dry all the way down. There’s no way to survive without water.”

Weimer said the farm has had to tear up 100 acres of beans to save water, “In order to keep the crops that I’ve got we had to eliminate some crops to keep the other crops going.”

Weimer said the water situation is concerning but they’ll have to wait until harvest to see how their crops will yield without the benefit of enough water.

“We just thank the good lord this is all we have to rip up for now,” said Weimer. “When you wake up in the morning you’re thinking about water, when you go to bed at night you’re thinking about water.”

The drought will surely have an impact on food prices. Everyone can expect to pay more for vegetables, meat and dairy products.

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