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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CNJ staff photo: Benna Sayyed Curry County Commissioner Frank Blackburn, who farms 6,000 acres five miles west of Clovis in the Ranchvale community, checks on his beef cattle. He purchased these calves in September 2011. Benna Sayyed Local farmers say recent precipitation in the area has helped their crops a little but much more is […]

Farmers predict fewer, smaller pumpkins

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CNJ staff photo: Benna Sayyed Seasonal employees at the Davis Farms Pumpkin Patch prepare pumpkins to be shipped commercially. The farm has managed to thrive despite the pumpkin shortage that has severely affected West Texas farmers and decreased business for New Mexico farmers. Benna Sayyed Pumpkins will be fewer and smaller in size this Halloween, […]

AgSense: La Ni

Dry and windy conditions of the winter of 2010 and spring of 2011 decimated the dryland wheat crop and severely impacted the quality and quantity of irrigated wheat due to heavy evaporation of irrigation water and stronger than normal late winter freezes. Hot weather throughout the spring and summer and the lack of help from […]

Managing our national resources

By Glenda Price: New Mexico columnist Years ago (after the 1950s drought broke him) my father had a business helping other ranchers get rid of invasive saguaro cactus. It was set up so the government helped with the cost, although I don’t know the details. He had two tractors and other equipment. They dug the […]

In search of ponies: Horse in for a rough ride

Sharna Johnson Things are tough. The economy is tight, people are stretching their dollars to cover the cost of the rising expenses and most of the recent data says they are doing it without pay increases. And to make things worse, drought and wildfires in the area have hit the feed supply for animals. As […]

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 conditions blamed for cattle sell-off

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Freedom New Mexico: Argen Duncan Broadview rancher Pat Woods in one of his pastures north of Clovis. He said he’s already sold half of his cattle and may have to sell the rest if rain doesn’t come because the cattle won’t have anything to eat. Alisa Boswell Livestock owners have been selling their cattle at […]

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 […]

Seminar offering drought management information

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 preregistration 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 […]

Conservation program policies modified

CNJ staff 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, according […]

Officials: Drought may affect fair entries

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Freedom New Mexico: Tony Bullocks Jacque Wuest of Clovis displays one of the potted plants she plans on entering in the Curry County Fair this year. 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 […]

Dairy owners say drought shriveling profits

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Alisa Boswell: Portales News-Tribune Cass Anderson feeds cattle on his family’s dairy near Portales Thursday afternoon. Due to droughts around the West, prices for hay are up while quality and quantity are down, putting stress on dairy finances. Argen Duncan While dairy cattle are holding up well in the hot, dry weather, the drought is […]

Changes to drought management plan proposed

Kevin Wilson Proposed changes to the city’s drought management plan would leave most elements unchanged, but give more latitude to the city to take immediate action. The ordinance, an amendment to Section 13.24.020 of the city code, is scheduled for introduction during a meeting Thursday of the Clovis City Commission. City Commissioner Randy Crowder said […]

Fire officials dissuade use of fireworks

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Tony Bullocks: Freedom New Mexico Clovis and Portales fire officials say it would be better for local residents to not set off fireworks from home on Monday because of the state’s extreme drought conditions. Alisa Boswell With extreme drought conditions in New Mexico, local fire officials are saying it’s probably best for Clovis and Portales […]

Times of drought remind us to be thankful for better days

With all of my heart, I hope that T-shirts emblazoned with that slogan are soon printed and available. At this point, though, one wonders if they ever will be. I hate to whine. Well, that’s probably not strictly true. Most whiners whine because they enjoy it, and while they’re doing it, they don’t have to […]

Area farmers, ranchers say federal aid little help in drought

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Freedom New Mexico: Alisa Boswell Roosevelt County farmer Gene Massey harvests some of his wheat crop Friday in Rogers, southeast of Portales. He said the yield is down from 20 bushels an acre last year to 5-12 bushels an acre this year. Argen Duncan Drought is making this year more difficult for area farmers and […]

Forecaster: La Nina weather pattern locking area in drought

Freedom New Mexico Eastern New Mexico and a significant port of the U.S. are locked in a strong La Nina weather pattern, resulting in exceptional drought conditions and extremely high temperatures, National Weather Service officials said Wednesday. “This is not just happening on eastern New Mexico. It is the same over most of southwestern United […]

Drought won’t delay farmers’ markets

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CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Don Wiley, owner of Good Shepherd Farm in Curry County, inspects carrots pulled Monday from inside his greenhouse. Wiley also grows kale, tomatoes and broccoli. 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 […]

Drought, fires may affect local economy

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CNJ staff photo: Sharna Johnson Sand dunes in the area around State Road 467 and a “dust bowl” effect are becoming more common in Curry County as wildfires continue in the midst of drought conditions. Sharna Johnson In the midst of drought and wildfires, Eastern New Mexico looks more like a dust bowl everyday. But […]