Roundtable on Resilience of Co Agriculture
The Colorado Department of Ag’s third in a series of virtual roundtables focusing on the resilience of agriculture producers focuses on southcentral producers.
All things considered, it has not been the worst year ever.
Jim Erlich Executive Director of the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee says despite drought and COVID San Luis Valley potato growers produced a healthy crop this year.
Erlich: “We’ve had to pull really heavily on our aquifer this year in order to apply more water than normal because it was warmer than normal. But we got off to a really good start because it was warmer in the spring We’ve been really fortunate. We’ve had good growing conditions this year. “
Max Fields of Fields to Plate Produce in Durango is a first-generation farmer. He and his partner have 150 acres with 10 acres certified organic. He says they’ve been lucky to have the full support of their local community during the COVID transitions.
Fields:” We expect to pull out about 100,000 pounds of vegetables for storage this winter. The harvest has been amazing; one of our best years to date.”
Third-generation rancher George Whitten has a 400 cow-calf operation at San Juan Ranch in the San Luis Valley. He lost all of his processing slots for the next year or more because of plant slowdowns. He is looking to replace some of those with a new plant coming online in New Mexico. He had no production on his rangelands due to drought but migrated his cattle to eastern Colorado.
The virtual roundtables are designed to help guide other ag communities build resilience and thrive through the challenges of 2020 and make strategic shifts for new opportunities and productivity.