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drought

  • Spring in Cortez has been drier than usual
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture is taking an all-hands-on-deck approach to the cross-species outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza that is now infecting cattle as well as poultry, the CSU Montezuma County Extension has announced their 2024 Land Management Workshop series, and a look at how irrigation water is valued in the Midwest versus the West.
  • A new Farm Bill from Congress seems to still be a long way off, the Senate Agriculture Committee Chair outlines key farm bill programs, the American Farm Bureau Federation wants a new farm bill to address agriculture's labor challenges, John Deere partners with Elon Musk’s Starlink to provide satellite-based high-speed internet for its machines, and drought continues to hamper the number of ships that can traverse the Panama Canal.
  • A group of senators is encouraging consideration of a farm bill that provides support for projects that address drought, the Colorado Master Irrigator Program kicks off on January 18th, cattle markets are starting 2024 in a much better position than they were a year ago, and meteorologists predict that we’ve likely reached the peak of the El Nino weather pattern this winter.
  • Recent winter storms bring much-needed moisture to the Four Corners, environmental data show that December 2023 was the warmest December on record, and the ag economy was down in 2023 compared to 2022 (the worst since 2013) which could indicate the ag economy is heading into another farm debt crisis.
  • The drought that affected much of the country in 2023 is still impacting the beef cattle herd, the U.S. House passes a bill that will allow whole, reduced fat and other milk varieties back into school cafeterias, and the average age of farmworkers in the Great Plains and upper Midwest is rising at a much faster rate than in the rest of the country.
  • Low Mississippi River and Panama Canal levels continue to impact grain shipments, food-at-home prices are up almost 2.5% compared with last October, and Congress continues to delay a new Farm Bill.
  • Congress won’t pass a new farm bill prior to the expiration of the 2018 Farm Bill on September 30th, the USDA lowers its forecast for total milk production this year by 400 million pounds, and low water levels are affecting ship traffic through the Panama Canal.
  • The complexities of The Farm Bill, low water levels in the Mississippi River once again create concern for agricultural barge traffic, the world’s biggest agribusiness corporations record record profits in the face of widespread food poverty and starvation, and U.S. wheat exports are expected to decrease to levels not seen in over 50 years.
  • Colorado passes a right-to-repair agricultural equipment law, how high inflation is affecting farmers and ranchers, and drought conditions continue to expand in the Four Corners Region and beyond.