Jan 23, 2013 6:55 PM by Lacey Steele

Pueblo County farmers worry about the drought

With record warm temperatures in the area, it may feel nice outside, but no moisture just fuels the drought we're experiencing.

That has some local farmers concerned.

"It's our number one issue right now," said Shane Milberger, of Milberger Farms.

The drought in Pueblo County, like most of Colorado, is severe this year.

"There is no water up there," said Milberger. "There is no snow pack, so we're definitely worried about what we're going to do, how far we're cutting back, and what we're cutting back."

Cutting back means more than half of their land.

"We're estimating we're going to cut 65% of our farm down," said Milberger.

Milberger uses water from wells and the bessemer ditch.

He won't know if he has well water till April, which is bad for his bottom line.

"All around we're going to have a lot more issues due to the drought," said Milberger.

Of course they stay hopeful about the coming months.

"I'm a farmer," laughed Milberger. "We always hope."

Right now it looks like we may be in for warmer temps in February as the jet stream dips down in the south east instead of around us, but there may be some hope.

"That's a 33% chance that the rest of this winter is going to be above average temperatures and below average precipitation," said Jennifer Jacobs, KOAA Meteorologist.

Which means a 66% chance for some precipitation.

"If we get the rains and the snows and the water increases, well then we can always open up some more land and keep going," said Milberger.

Milberger says all they can do it take it day by day.

The drought's effects can be seen everywhere.

Right now, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation says the Pueblo Reservoir is only at 52%.


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