Market Journal: Water Woes in Western Nebraska

Market Journal: Water Woes in Western Nebraska

On this week's Market Journal, producer Bill Dodd reports on the critical situation for western Nebraska growers without irrigation water following damage to the Goshen (Wyoming)/Germing Fort Laramie Irrigation Canal.

After collapse of a canal tunnel July 17, irrigation water was cut off to more than 100,000 crop acres, 55,000 of which are in Scotts Bluff County. Work is now underway to provide temporary repairs as soon as possible. Dodd covers a recent meeting with growers in Scottsbluff County to address the damage, repair options and timeline, and concerns about whether the water will come in time to save the crops. Rick Preston, general manager for the Gering/Ft. Laramie Irrigation District, discusses the rush and frustration of trying to "do whatever was necessary to get the system up and running again." Dodd also talks with Nebraska Extension Educator Jessica Groskopf and Irrigation Specialist Xin Qiao about the situation and prospects for the corn, dry beans, and sugar beet crops here. Along with growers representatives of local, state, and the federal government attended the meeting. The governors of Wyoming and Nebraska have made disaster declarations.

For more information, please see

  • A website hosted by the University of Nebraska and University of Wyoming (go.unl.edu/canal) offers the latest information on the situation and lists support services for affected families
  • Rural Response Hotline (800-464-0258), which offers assistance to affected families through attorneys, financial advisors, professional counselors, mediators, clergy, and others.
  • Update on Efforts to Restore Water to North Platte River Valley Canal, a CropWatch story

More Market Journal

Also on this week's Market Journal:

2019 Soybean Management Field Days. The MJ team gives you a sneak peek at what you can expect from the 2019 Soybean Management Field Days August 13-16. Nebraska Extension Educator Keith Glewen stops by to share why the events are so important for producers and some of the research being covered. 

Markets with Frayne Olson, North Dakota State University Crop Economist. Olson discusses what the tunnel collapse could mean for Nebraska farmers, Market Facilitation Program payments, and the hurdles facing wheat producers during harvest.

Al’s Forecast. With a dry situation in western Nebraska, Extension Climatologist Al Dutcher lets us know what we can expect for weather across the state in the coming days.

Nebraska Viticulture. Wineries are popping up across Nebraska, and we’re headed to the Soaring Wings Vineyard near Springfield. See what Nebraska viticulture is bringing to the wine industry and if it could work for you.