As the 2014 growing season approaches, different U.S. regions are facing starkly different water outlooks. In eastern Oregon and western Idaho, producers of crops such as onions and mint are hoping for snow to supplement the tight carryover water supply in many reservoirs. For example, the Owyhee Irrigation District in Oregon has just 58,000 acre-feet of carryover water—down from the normal 500,000 acre-feet.
(Click here to see the U.S. Drought Monitor)
Meanwhile, the state of Georgia got soaked this past year. From June through August alone, 32" of rain fell. Of the 92 days during the period, 58 days brought precipitation. Limited sunlight hurt yields and delayed harvest for crops such as cotton and peanuts. It’s a marked change from two previous years of drought. In 2012, farmers got 33" of rain, and in 2011, a total of 37".
For additional details on irrigation research and management, visit www.FarmJournal.com/irrigation
- Mid-February 2014