Colorado landowners who want to protect environmentally valuable private forest areas that could someday be threatened by development or conversion to other non-forest uses -- and who desire to receive monetary compensation in the process -- now have the opportunity to submit proposals to protect their forestlands.
As the Southwest keeps getting hotter and drier, people who rely on the Colorado River and its tributaries for their livelihoods are facing the prospect of having to make due with less water. The impacts of reduced supplies will play out differently in different parts of the basin, but they will touch everyone.
Blue Spoon Ranch, Hotchkiss, is a new member of the American Angus Association®, reports Allen Moczygemba, CEO of the national breed organization headquartered in Saint Joseph, Mo.
On March 28, the Delta Farmers Union held a supper and panel discussion at the Maloney House on the Delta County Fairgrounds in Hotchkiss titled "Heritage." The event featured generational farmers and ranchers sharing their history, thoughts on family farming and speculations on the future of agriculture.
The sweeping scope of the ENGAGE initiative -- a combination of programming intended to promote energy, agriculture and entrepreneurship, along with a physical presence in Delta, is proving to be a lot to bite off.
Technical College of the Rockies is spearheading this initiative with support from the school district, Delta County Economic Development, the City of Delta, Delta County and Region 10.
The eighth annual Soil Health Conference will be held Feb. 22 and 23 at the Delta Center for Performing Arts, located at 822 Grand Avenue in Delta.
With a three-state draw, the Western Colorado Food and Farm Forum enters its sixth year with workshops on sustainable agriculture Jan. 25-27 in Montrose. Registration is open at www.foodfarmforum.org.
Published by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, and presented by Kaiser Permanente, the Colorado Farm Fresh Directory promotes Colorado farmers' markets, roadside stands, u-picks, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) producers, agritourism activities and farms and ranches that sell direct to the public. The 2018 edition is being organized, and producers are encouraged to submit their information for inclusion.
At the well-attended annual meeting of the Delta Conservation District (DCD), Chann Fogg of Cedaredge was honored as the Farmer of the Year and Dan Sullivan of Crawford was named Rancher of the Year. Both received a framed certificate and gift card to Ace Hardware.
The white-tailed prairie dog won't be listed as a threatened or an endangered species partly due to extensive survey work by biologists from Colorado Parks and Wildlife and other state wildlife agencies where the species exists.
Petitions to list the white-tailed prairie dog on the federal endangered species list were filed with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) starting in 2002.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) is announcing that four industrial hemp seed varieties have passed the statewide THC validation and observation trial and are now eligible to be grown by the Colorado Seed Growers Association for production of "CDA Approved Certified Seed."
This year, the CDA Approved Certified Hemp seed program trialed four varieties of hemp across Colorado's diverse growing conditions to validate if they would prove to grow mature plants that fall within industrial hemp requirements set by Amendment 64 in the Colorado Constitution.
To help develop and promote the state's specialty crops, the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) is seeking proposals for the Specialty Crops Block Grant Program. Specialty crops are defined as fruits and vegetables, dried fruits, and nursery crops including floriculture and sod.
With a three-state draw, the Western Colorado Food and Farm Forum enters its sixth year with workshops on sustainable agriculture Jan. 25-27. Registration is now open at www.foodfarmforum.org.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) and the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) are seeking applicants for agricultural energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The total amount available for assistance in FY 2018 is $350,000.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated five counties in Colorado, including Delta County, as primary natural disaster areas due to losses and damages caused by multiple disasters that occurred during the 2017 crop year.
Anyone who relies on hay to feed livestock during the winter should start planning now to protect that valuable crop from deer and elk.
During winters with deep snow, deer and elk will look for easy sources of food and unprotected hay stacks are an attractant, explained Chris Kloster, game damage coordinator for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
The Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) has approved funding for ditch companies to defray the cost of engineering services retained to prepare 2017 USBR Salinity FOA project applications.
Applications are to be submitted to the Delta Conservation District with selection review to be coordinated with CWCB and the Gunnison Basin Salinity Coordinator.
Dirt under your fingernails. The tang of freshly turned earth in your nose. Blue, blue skies as far as the eye can see and sunshine warm on your back. And in your hand: a hammer, or a shovel, or a bouquet of freshly picked salad greens. If you're looking to experience life on a farm, you need look no further than your own backyard.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) are seeking applicants for on-farm agricultural hydropower projects. The total amount of available assistance for this round is $1.2 million.
Spring has arrived, and in the North Fork Valley the wild apricots are in full bloom. And while it's a time of celebration, springtime can be tense for the area's fruit growers.
Beef producer Hugh Sanburg of Eckert has been elected to serve on the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion & Research Board Operating Committee. The election took place in early February during CBB's annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Colorado Energy Office (CEO), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service, has released $750,000 in project assistance funds through the USDA Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). The funding is available to Colorado agricultural irrigators, dairies, greenhouses, nurseries and cold storage facilities. The deadline to apply is March 31.
The majority of Americans pay little attention to pollinators -- bees, butterflies, wasps, moths and other insects.
However, without pollinators, many crops would not grow.
Late winter, from February through early March, is the best time to prune most trees. Trees are still dormant at this time of year and, unlike in early winter, wound closure will be rapid if pruning occurs just prior to the time new growth emerges.
Jodi Raim Wright has been involved with dairy cattle since her childhood in Cedaredge, where her family bred registered Holsteins at Raim Dairy. Recently, she was recognized for her extensive, exceptional and wide-reaching contributions to the dairy industry.
On Wednesday, Jan. 25, the Delta NRCS Field Office hosted a Palisade Insectary Tour for the Delta County Conservation District board members and employees. The neighboring office in Grand Junction attended as well.
The 7th annual Soil Health Conference will be held on Feb. 23 and 24 at the Delta Center for Performing Arts, 822 Grand Avenue in Delta. This conference is designed to educate producers, orchardists, ranchers, government officials and the broad community about ways to increase organic matter and increase the health of our soils by using cover crop, green manure, grazing, composting, entomology and other sustainable practices.
The fifth anniversary of the Western Colorado Food and Farm Forum saw record attendance with sessions at the Montrose County Fairgrounds and the Pavilion at near capacity levels Jan 20-21. With close to 275 people in attendance from Colorado, New Mexico and Utah, the conference brought organic and conventional producers of crops and livestock together for two days of learning and networking.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that starting March 20, 2017, organic producers and handlers will be able to visit over 2,100 USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices to apply for federal reimbursement to assist with the cost of receiving and maintaining organic or transitional certification.
Producers know their costs of producing crops and livestock continue to be high while market prices are going down. As profits decrease or there are losses, producers may have difficulty securing operating loans or have to take money from the savings they accumulated over the past few years of good prices. What are they to do?
The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) and the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) are seeking applicants for agricultural energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The total amount available for assistance in FY 2017 is $250,000. The funding is available to Colorado agricultural irrigators, dairies, greenhouses, nurseries and cold storage facilities.
Passionate about raising the most nutritious food possible, in the best soil possible, for the healthiest people possible? Head to the state's premier sustainable agricultural gathering, the Western Colorado Food and Farm Forum, in Montrose Jan. 20-21, 2017.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Colorado Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director, Leland Swenson, announced that the deadline to submit ballots for the 2016 County Committee Elections has been extended to ensure farmers and ranchers have sufficient time to vote. Eligible voters now have until Dec. 13, 2016 to return ballots to their local FSA offices. Producers who have not received their ballot should pick one up at their local FSA office.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's Solid and Hazardous Waste Commission voted to adopt the revised Section 14 regarding composting. Colorado livestock operations will remain exempt from this rule as long as they continue to compost only agricultural waste.
USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service Administrator Sam Rikkers recently encouraged rural small businesses and agricultural producers to apply for loans and grants to support renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
"These projects create long-term, economic benefits for businesses and rural communities," Rikkers said.
Farmers, ranchers, orchardists and growers of all levels share one common, perennial problem: Weeds. "Even people with small lots have problems with weeds," said Sarah Wilson, a seasonal employee with Mesa County Noxious Weed and Pest Management.
Colorado Cattlemen's Association (CCA) has released a report summarizing the results of a survey of irrigated agricultural producers about leasing water. CCA's Ag Water NetWORK initiated the survey, which was conducted to better understand the interests, concerns and perspectives of agricultural water right holders about the topic of ag water right leasing.
Foreign investors with an interest in agricultural lands in the United States are required to report their holdings and any transactions to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, according to Alan Bull, executive director of the Delta County Farm Service Agency.
"Any foreign person who acquires or transfers any interest, other than a security interest, in agricultural land in the United States is required by law to report the transaction no later than 90 days after the date of the transaction," said Bull.
Parade grand marshals are Les and Dorothy Mergelman. Both are multi-generational residents of western Colorado.
When Brett Barker and Heidi Berger first purchased their place on Rogers Mesa (near Hotchkiss) in the fall of 2013 it was in serious need of some TLC. There was a gated pipe system for irrigation, but much of it was broken or plugged.
On July 15, the Delta County Livestock Association hosted a great afternoon of learning, collaboration and socializing.
The afternoon kicked off with Libby Bigler, the Colorado Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) coordinator, giving a BQA certification training at the Heritage Hall in Hotchkiss.
Financial assistance is available for Colorado companies with an organic certification. In order to qualify for this year's reimbursement, producers and handlers must have received certification or continuation of certification by a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) accredited certifying agent commencing Oct. 1, 2015 through Sept. 30, 2016.
Colorado's agricultural industry consistently earns its ranking as one of the state's top three industries, advancing the state's economy and preserving the environment. With more than 36,000 farms encompassing 31 million acres, agriculture is a vital part of Colorado -- providing more than 173,000 jobs; contributing more than $41 billion to the state's economy annually; and feeding the world with nearly $2 billion in exported products.
Following the recent passing of Colorado Corn Administrative Committee (CCAC) president Charlie Bartlett, CCAC board members elected Doug Wilson as the new president with a unanimous vote earlier this month.
"We lost an incredible leader with Charlie's passing, but we will certainly make it a priority to carry forward with his innovative and forward-thinking spirit as we address the challenges facing agriculture, and as we make investments on behalf of Colorado corn farmers," said Wilson, who farms near Olathe.
Since 1992, photographer Celia Roberts has crisscrossed Colorado and the country documenting the nation's migrant and seasonal farmworkers. As a result, her life has taken on new meaning.
In Paonia, a small family farm is adding onto its educational programs in an exciting way. With the growing interest in agri-tourism, the Living Farm has created the Interactive Farm Tour. This self-guided tour allows for anyone to explore a working farm in a unique hands-on experience.
The Thunder Mountain Flywheelers' "Plow Days" event brought out antique tractor enthusiasts and their favorite machines last Saturday, March 26, at the Steve and Susan Spinden farm on 2100 Road.
The Thunder Mountain Flywheelers are involved with events and activities during the spring, summer, and fall that center around their love for antique tractors.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture is introducing a new program aimed at bringing industrial hemp into mainstream agriculture. Seed produced and conditioned under this program will be issued "CDA Approved Certified Seed" tags through the Colorado Seed Growers Association (CSGA) if the production standards are met and then will be available for purchase through the developer.
Colorado produces a wide variety of specialty crops, from peaches and apples to chiles and hops. To help develop and promote the state's specialty crops, the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) is seeking proposals for the Specialty Crops Block Grant Program.
The sixth annual Western Slope Soil Health Conference will be held on Feb. 11-12 at the Delta Center for Performing Arts, 822 Grand Avenue in Delta. This conference is designed to educate producers, orchardists, ranchers, government officials and the broad community about ways to increase organic matter and increase the health of our soils by using cover crop, green manure, grazing, composting, entomology and other sustainable practices.
The Delta County Livestock Association held its annual banquet on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 5. We would like to thank everyone who attended and helped make the banquet a success!
There's no shortage of issues discussed among the public, media, lawmakers and industry when it comes to food production, and the 2016 Governor's Forum on Colorado Agriculture will take on many of these critical topics, all while examining the future of ag in the Centennial State.
In particular, this event will explore how Colorado can best prepare a next generation of top-notch producers, who will be tasked with feeding a rapidly growing population, and doing so with fewer resources while facing a number of challenges.
Applications are now being accepted for the prestigious Leopold Conservation Award® honoring agricultural landowners in Colorado who demonstrate outstanding stewardship and management of natural resources.
Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the $10,000 award recognizes private landowner achievement in voluntary conservation.
Water managers in Colorado and the West, scrambling to meet the growing demand for increasingly scarce water supplies caused by large populations far from water resources, climate change and drought, need to focus more effort on conserving water, including addressing reservoir evaporation, say University of Colorado Boulder researchers.
While reducing water consumption has been successful in places like Denver and much of California, the loss of water from reservoir evaporation is an issue already affecting the growing population of the West, said CU-Boulder associate professor Katja Friedrich.
Entries are being accepted for Range magazine's annual photo competition, Outback Roundup 2016. Deadline for submissions is Feb. 19. Range is an award-winning publication devoted to issues that affect America's food producers.
The fourth annual Western Colorado Food and Farm Forum, the state's premier gathering of farmers and ranchers, and others involved in the sustainable farm community, announced its lineup of workshops and speakers.
The conference on Jan. 23 at the Montrose Pavilion has a wide array of breakout sessions, which convey vital, regionally specific agricultural information in areas including maximizing crop and livestock production, innovative agricultural marketing and management strategies, and specialty crops.
Montrose Regional Crime Stoppers and the Montrose County Sheriff's Office are seeking the help of citizens to locate and apprehend the perpetrator(s) involved in the following incident involving the theft of cows and calves from a corral in Cimarron.
On or about Oct. 10, person or persons unknown stole 18 cows and 71 calves from Forest Corral on Cimarron Road in Cimarron.
Major improvements to local irrigation ditches began in 1998 with the piping of laterals off the South Canal in the Uncompahgre Valley Water Users delivery system and now include over 100 miles of pipeline.
The Grandview Canal outside Crawford received Bureau of Reclamation funds in 2008 to install a section of pressurized pipeline, the first such project in the North Fork area.
It's almost Christmas and this is the best time to order seedling trees! Our seedlings come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including deciduous trees, shrubs and conifers, and you can purchase our seedlings as either bare root or potted.
For five years, Ahlberg Farms has been disking under corn stalks and onion tops soon after harvest, then reseeding with a unique blend of seed mixes to produce a cover crop that provides forage for livestock and nourishes the soil.
The practice is one that has many benefits, according to the experts on the Uncompahgre Soil Health Team.
Abby Campbell, a junior agriculture business and economics major at West Texas A&M University, recently participated in the Cargill High Plains Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest held Nov. 10 in Friona, Texas. Campbell is a 2012 graduate of Paonia High School.
Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) began mailing ballots to eligible farmers and ranchers across the country for the 2015 FSA County Committee elections on Monday, Nov. 9. Producers must return ballots to their local FSA offices by Dec. 7, to ensure that their vote is counted.
Farm Service Agency administrator Val Dolcini reminds farmers and ranchers that they have until Sept. 30 to enroll in several key Farm Bill safety net programs -- Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC), Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy).
"These programs provide important risk protection for farm and dairy operations, so it is important not to miss the deadline for enrollment," said Dolcini.
If you live in Delta County, chances are good you have seen Russian knapweed. If you own any land in Delta County, chances are good you really don't like Russian knapweed. You are not alone.
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