May 2016 weather has been quite different than May 2015 in the Silt/Rifle area and Roaring Fork Valley.  In 2015 alfalfa/grass crop had used 2.5 – 3.1 inches of water and 2.2 – 2.7 inches of precipitation had fallen.  This May is a different story; warm temperatures and sunny days have predominated.  The CoAgMet Weather Station records these and other measurements to estimate crop evapotranspiration (crop water use).  Precipitation has had a much harder time keeping up with crop water needs so irrigation has been required to meet these needs.  Have you been irrigating enough?
Common question:  “How do I know how much water I’ve put down?”
Answer:  If you have a sprinkler system the easiest way to figure out your application rate is with rain gauges.  Using a few rain gauges spread across the whole sprinkled area will yield a more accurate result.  Leave the rain gauges out for the entire set.  Check three or more sets to ensure a good reading.  If you’re using flood or gated pipe it’s a little trickier.  If you know your flow rate (from a flowmeter, flume, or weir), the set time, and the acreage we can estimate the inches applied.  Call the office for assistance figuring out your application rate.
The series of irrigation management information is provided by Derrick Wyle, NRCS.  

Be sure and check out the CoAgMet stations and  

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

NRCS works with landowners through conservation planning and assistance designed to benefit the soil, water, air, plants, and animals that result in productive lands and healthy ecosystems. 
NRCS succeeds through partnerships, working closely with individual farmers and ranchers, landowners, local conservation districts, government agencies, Tribes, Earth Team volunteers and many other people and groups that care about the quality of America’s natural resources. 
Our goal is not just a sustainable, nutritious, abundant food supply, but also thriving ecosystems that support a diversity of life. In the next century, NRCS will not only continue to tackle familiar challenges like ensuring clean water and healthy soil, but will also rise to meet new issues, such as clean air, clean energy, climate change, and new technology. 

Your Local Service Center is located in Glenwood Springs.

Please call us or visit Colorado NRCS’s website to learn more about technical resources, programs and partnerships. 

258 Center Drive 
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 

**While this data is geared towards the Roaring Fork Valley, NRCS is here and ready to help locals in the entire area.  Give them a call today for help on your property.***