Panhandle Research and Extension Center

Workers examine the site of the smaller of the two tunnel collapses.
Figure 1. Workers examine the site of the smaller of the two tunnel collapses. This week it was determined that the resulting loss of canal irrigation to growers in eastern Wyoming and western Nebraska was an insurable event.

Irrigation Tunnel Collapse Found to be an Insurable Event

August 23, 2019
Today, growers and nearby communities breathed a sigh of relief as the USDA Risk Management Agency announced that the water loss resulting from Goshen/Gering-Ft. Laramie Canal tunnel collapse was an insurable loss.

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Excavation continues above the tunnel collapse. A series of three trench boxes, each 10 feet tall by 20 feet wide by 20 feet long will be dropped down into the space as soil is removed. (Photo courtesy the Goshen Irrigation District)
Figure 1. Excavation continues above the tunnel collapse and on Friday a series of three trench boxes, each 10 feet tall by 20 feet wide by 20 feet long, were droppped down on top of the tunnel to create a safe place for working. (Photo courtesy the Goshen Irrigation District)

Update on Canal Repairs Affecting Growers in Nebraska and Wyoming

August 23, 2019
Work continues to excavate soil above the irrigation tunnel collapse just south of Fort Laramie. A series of trench boxes is being installed to facilitate safe conditions for continued digging. Prospects remain uncertain for restoring water this irrigation season.

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A screen capture from a time-lapse video of dry edible beans without irigation

Some Fields Doing Better Than Expected Without Irrigation, Some Not

August 23, 2019
Time-lapse videos and photos capture the status of crops affected by the loss of irrigation water to growers in the North Platte River Valley in eastern Wyoming and western Nebraska.

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Figure 1. A bird's eye view of the land work to repair the irrigation canal and excavate the collapsed area above the tunnel. (Photos by Rick Preston)

Update: Tunnel Repair Continues "Round the Clock"

August 16, 2019
Repairs to the Gering-Fort Laramie-Goshen irrigation canal and tunnel are progressing, although it’s still too early to determine when water flow will be restored, growers were told Monday at stakeholder meetings in Nebraska and Wyoming. A photo series helps tell the story of progress.

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Efforts are ongoing to repair the tunnel section of the Goshen/Gering-Fort Laramie Irrigation canal that collapsed July 17. This photo was taken August 8.
Figure 1. Efforts are ongoing to repair the tunnel section of the Goshen/Gering-Fort Laramie Irrigation canal that collapsed July 17. This photo was taken August 8. (Photos by Gary Stone)

Potential Economic Impact of Tunnel Collapse is $89 Million

August 15, 2019
The economic impact of the July 17 tunnel collapse on the Gering-Fort Laramie Canal could climb as high as $89 million if the loss of irrigation water results in a total crop failure, according to a new report issued by University of Wyoming Extension and Nebraska Extension.

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Site of the tunnel collapse in the Goshen-Gering-Ft-Laramie Canal

August 12 Canal Repair Update Meeting

August 7, 2019
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.

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Bill Todd updates Market Journal views on the irrigation canal collapse in western Nebraska.

Market Journal: Water Woes in Western Nebraska

August 2, 2019
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.

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drought-stressed corn

Is Silage an Option for Corn Impacted by the Canal Breach?

August 2, 2019
Without irrigation water and adequate rainfall, taking this western Nebraska corn to full maturity and grain production may not be the best option for the crop. Here's why silage may offer benefits.

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