AG Watch

Drought has Kings Co businesses concerned

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

You might call it a trickle-down effect - Kings County recently extended its drought emergency and now everyone in the ag community is keeping a close eye.

That includes mechanics who work on crop duster planes who are watching the weather.

It's business as usual for Jensen Aircraft. They're fixing sheet metal and repairing plane sidings - and they're talking about the rain, or the lack thereof.

"There's water this year but no water next year, that means less crops less crops means less flying for the crop duster outfits. Less flying means less work for us," crop duster mechanic Isaac Archuleta said.

Archuleta says everyone knows what happens when there's no more work.

"If there's no water, no money. I can't get a paycheck and I can't feed my family," Archuleta said.

If you look around Kings County you wouldn't think there's a problem. Crops are green and water is flowing. But county supervisors are worried if they don't do something the crops will dry up.

"If we don't have any more rain this year like we did last year we'll be in dire straits next year," Kings Co. Dist. 3 Supervisor Doug Verboon said.

So Verboon and his board extended the current drought emergency. That way help is available should Kings County need it.

"If your farm depends on surface water this is gonna be a tough year for you and if it doesn't rain next year will be unbearable," Verboon said.

While some farmers have adjusted their crops and while most have pumps there are plenty that don't, and those at Jensen Aircraft can only hope it's a wet winter.

"The Valley's drying up and the underground water can only sustain us for so long. We need to replenish that," Archuleta said.

Local officials say the folks in Kings County are pretty good about conserving water. Most follow the watering schedule. They just need mother nature to cooperate as well.

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Tags:
ag report, kings county, ag watch, stephanie stone
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