Dry conditions taking toll on farmers - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Dry conditions taking toll on farmers

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These unseasonably warm and dry conditions are taking a toll on local farmers who need to get ready for planting.

With no sign of considerable moisture in site, we're watching out for you and what this means for your grocery bill.

Local farmers need that rain and snow to mellow out the ground and get the soil ready for planting. This could also have a big impact for you at home!

December 2017 was the 6th driest on record in Colorado Springs and the 9th driest in Pueblo and these dry, dusty conditions could have a big impact on farmers.

We spoke to one local farmer who tells us they're not worried yet, but we need to see some rain or snow and fast! They're hoping for a big snowfall in February and March to get them back on track. 

We'll start worrying about it in February and March," said Shane Milberger of Milberger Farms. "If we're not getting any snow yet, at that point we'll decide what we're planting, what we're not planting, how much."

If they don't see that snow, they'll have to be selective about what they can plant and your wallet could feel that! A lower supply would increase prices. 

If there's one crop you can bet on it's the Pueblo Chile! Regardless of the amount of snow farmers say they'll make sure that plenty of chiles get planted.

"What we do out here on the farms, it helps Pueblo, it helps everybody out here," continued Milberger. "It's a big load on my shoulders. That will be the main crop I raise regardless if there's water or not. The chile is always the main priority."

They're optimistic about this season! Milberger tells us they're expecting plenty of rain and Pueblo chiles this year. 

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