Colorado agriculture outlook and the drought

July 19, 2012

July 27, 2012                        Richard Wobbekind

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack warned that the worsening drought in the U.S. could mean higher prices for corn, produce and other agriculture products at the grocery store since crops yields will be lower then expected. For Colorado, what began as a stellar year for agriculture has slipped some, say Richard Wobbekind, an economist with CU-Boulder’s Leeds School of Business. But, he says, over all agriculture in the state is still doing pretty well.

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Colorado agriculture outlook and the drought

July 27, 2012                        Richard Wobbekind

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack warned that the worsening drought in the U.S. could mean higher prices for corn, produce and other agriculture products at the grocery store since crops yields will be lower then expected. For Colorado, what began as a stellar year for agriculture has slipped some, say Richard Wobbekind, an economist with CU-Boulder’s Leeds School of Business. But, he says, over all agriculture in the state is still doing pretty well.

CUT 1  “Prices have held up. A big deal there is exports, beef exports, have been really outstanding.  That has really helped the agricultural area in general.” (:10)

Recent rains have helped lower the fire danger in the state but if we continue with hot and dry weather there are concerns that crops harvested in the fall will be lower in yields than expected and the overall outlook for agriculture in Colorado could worsen, says Wobbekind.

CUT 2 “The amount of rain right now is obviously really low in the state overall and so that effects crops later in the year. The crops that come up and are harvested in the more in the fall. (:11) And there is concern that there’s going to be very low yields if we don’t start to see some rain on those crops and so that would, obviously, put a damper on the last part of the year in terms of harvest and yield. (:22)

The drought across much of the U.S. is rated the worst since 1956. In a report issued this week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, based on the Palmer Drought Index, 55 percent of the contiguous United States was under moderate to extreme drought in June.

-CU-

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