SAGUACHE COUNTY — The sounds of harvest time have faded into the background for another year in the San Luis Valley.
According to harvest reports, 88 percent of the alfalfa fields have been harvested, and all potato fields are now harvested, and the potato harvest has been placed in storage barns or shipped.
According to the USDA, “Pasture conditions continued to deteriorate due to lack of moisture.”
Also, of note in the USDA report, most livestock are in good condition, sheep and cattle deaths were average and pasture conditions are fair to good in most locations.
Across the Valley, farmers were seen readying their fields for winter and applying fertilizer to nourish and return nutrients to the soil.
With the long-term forecast indicating a low precipitation trend in Colorado, some farmers expressed concern for the spring planting season.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), “There is a 90% chance that La Niña conditions will be in place from December 2021 to February 2022.”
La Niña conditions generally result in below-average temperatures in the north of the country while the south experiences higher-than-normal temperatures. Precipitation is expected to be drier than average for the Southwest.