Drought conditions worsening, workshop set for April 21

It’s serious, folks. The drought conditions for Archuleta County are tipping into the farthest part of the scale at “exceptional.” We are surpassing the conditions we faced in 2002 and 2012.
What does that mean for us? We are primed for a disastrous wildfire season, we will have less water in our reservoirs and we will see higher prices at the grocery store because of crop failures. We are already saw winter crop failure in the Cortez area, and the Front Range is reporting crop failure predictions.
March typically begins the ramp up of spring precipitation to help kick-start the growing season. But for many areas of southern Colorado, precipitation was less than 20 percent of average. As we continue toward summer, these deficits become harder to make up. Around the Four Corners and down into the higher elevations of New Mexico and Arizona, the water year total deficits range from 4 to 9 inches — amounts that are unlikely to be made up prior to the start of the monsoon season (Colorado Climate Center).
Drought is something that affects us all. The environmental and economic impacts will touch everyone who lives and visits our area.
What can you do to help alleviate the effects? Watch your water consumption. Even though we want to keep our beautiful landscapes alive, please consider using high-drought-tolerance plants. Or, better yet, skip the landscaping plans all together. If you do have landscape that you have to water, use mulch to keep the soil moist, cool and protected from wind. Keep an eye on the weather and don’t water when Mother Nature takes a turn.
You are invited to learn more about drought and its impacts on April 21 at 9 a.m. at the Extension office. The Farm Bureau is hosting a workshop that will include the drought outlook and impacts on the land. Learn what your risk is and how you can reduce the impact. A pulled pork lunch will be served. There is no need to register, just show up.
Paper clover campaign
Every year, 4-H’ers in Archuleta County participate in a number of 4-H programs to help improve their knowledge and leadership skills.
This year, the Pagosa Springs Tractor Supply store is continuing its long-standing partnership with 4-H for the 2018 Spring Paper Clover Campaign to make it possible for more youth in the community to experience 4-H’s youth-led, hands-on programming.
Visit Tractor Supply through April 22 and purchase a paper clover for $1 to help Archuleta County 4-H members attend 4-H camps and leadership events.
Seed potato orders
Orders are now being taken for Colorado-certified seed potatoes from the San Luis Valley. There are red, white, blue and pink varieties for $1 per pound.
They will be ready to pick up May 9-11. Please call the CSU Extension office to place your order.
CPR and first aid classes
CPR and first aid certification classes are now being offered monthly by the CSU Extension office on the second Monday and Wednesday of each month from 6 to 10 pm. Anyone needing to receive or renew certification can register by calling the Extension office at 264-5931.
We will also attempt to schedule classes on additional dates with five or more registrations. Cost for the classes is $80 for combined CPR/first aid and $55 for CPR, first aid or recertification. The type of first aid information provided will vary by the needs of the audience.
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CSU Extension
CSU Extension is your local university community connection for research-based information about natural resource management; living well through raising kids, eating right and spending smart; gardening and commercial horticulture; the latest agricultural production technologies; and community development.

This story was posted on April 18, 2018.