With a preliminary fix in place for the Goshen/Gering-Ft Laramie irrigation canal, irrigation district and government officials are now looking at the next steps for ensuring the whole canal can be a consistent source of water for upcoming cropping seasons.
Water began flowing in the Gering-Fort Laramie and Goshen irrigation canal early Aug. 28 for the first time in about six weeks. Repairs to a canal tunnel are enough to allow water flow, but likely are not permanent. Our story includes a slideshow and three time-lapse videos of crops growing in the affected area.
The last few irrigations of the season require some of the most important water management decisions of the year. An unneeded irrigation may waste 1 to 3 inches of water and 2 to 5 gallons of diesel fuel per acre and leave little room in the soil profile to capture winter/spring rains.
A 65-year comparative analysis between U.S. yields of irrigated and rainfed crops has sounded a message to farmers, land managers and policymakers: Mind the gap. Researchers analyzed annual yields of nine crops on a county-by-county basis from 1950 to 2015.
The Gering-Ft Laramie Irrigation District will host a public meeting Monday, August 12, in Scottsbluff to update farmers and landowners on the repair of the July 17 tunnel collapse and canal breach. Photos take viewers to the site and inside the tunnel.
On this week's Market Journal, producer Bill Dodd covers the devastating damage to a major irrigation canal in western Nebraska and eastern Wyoming. Other topics include the grain markets, market facilitation payments, and the forecast.
The Gering/Ft. Laramie Irrigation District and the Goshen Irrigation District (Wyoming) held stakeholder meetings this week to discuss the status of canal damage and repairs and how to restore irrigation water to 100,000+ acres. Initial canal repairs have started, with tunnel repairs expected to start soon.