Sakata Drought Tour
The President of the Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association is using his 2020 crop losses to call on ag producers across the state to get involved in policymaking.
Robert Sakata of Sakata Farms in Brighton posted a video in which he takes viewers to his cornfields where the drought forced him to stop irrigation so water could be diverted to the Sakata onion crop.
SAKATA: “These crops are like our family and it was a tough decision whether to give water to this crop or give water to the onion crop. But we couldn’t do both so we decided to stop irrigating the corn and we didn’t end up with very much of a crop here. But we’re not alone. Farmers across the state had to make tough decisions like this, in a drought year like this.
The Colorado Water Conservation Board posted the video and others like it. Sakata is a member of the Colorado Ag Water Alliance and is on the board of the Colorado Water Congress. He says over the years, irrigation supplies have become smaller and smaller.
SAKATA: “ So I guess the bottom line is we want to get that message out there that Colorado water is such a precious resource. We all need to do more to conserve it, to have better water planning. I hope in the future we all maybe as a state will come up with some adaptive management strategies; maybe have cooperative agreements between cities and farmers to share the water more. So be involved in the Colorado Water Plan; have your voice heard.”
Colorado’s Department of Natural Resources has invited anyone experiencing the impacts of drought, particularly in agriculture, to share their drought-related stories online through the Drought Virtual Tour platform.