Cooperative Extension
Colorado State University



In This Issue

Understanding and Accounting for Crop Water Use
Seasonal Water Needs for Colorado Crops
Considerations for Limited Irrigation
Limited and Full Irrigation Comparison for Corn and Grain Sorghum
Surface Irrigation Tips for
Limited Water
Crop Residue Effects on Evaporation from Soils
Agronomic Practices to Stretch Limited Water Supplies
Managing Dry Beans in Dry Years
Web Sites
Dry Bean Production Under Limited Irrigation
Drought Effects Upon Plant Disease Potential
Stubble Management Effects on
Available Soil Water in Dryland
Cropping Systems
Cover Crops
Forages Fit Uncertain Water Supplies

Crop Production with Limited Water

During years with low water availability, a number of management adjustments are needed to best utilize available water for crop production.

Recent near record snowfall in some areas of Colorado has greatly improved mountain snow pack conditions with NRCS SNOTEL sites reporting from 72 to 108 percent of average snow water equivalents, while other parts of the state have recently received much needed rain. These conditions in late March are certainly an improvement over our winter precipitation last year. However the other side of the water story is the record low reservoir levels, below average surface and subsoil moisture in many locations, and moderate to severe drought still lingering throughout Colorado. Adding to this water dilemma will be the curtailed pumping of many alluvial wells along the S. Platte River, sold or leased water rights to municipalities, and decreasing well capacities on the High Plains and San Luis Valley. So, Colorado producers are most likely going to face another year of growing crops with less water. The articles in this issue are intended to provide information on a variety of topics that affect crop production during a drought. Hopefully, more snow will continue to improve our snow pack this spring and our skies will bring timely rains this summer. If not, information on farming with less water should be useful, and remain so as drought is certain to hit our state again.

FROM THE GROUND UP agronomy news is a monthly publication of Cooperative Extension, Department of Soil & Crop Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.

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The information in this newsletter is not copyrighted and may be distributed freely. Please give the original author the appropriate credit for their work.

Troy Bauder and Joel Schneekloth,
Technical Editors

Direct questions and comments to:
Deborah Fields
Phone: 970- 491-6201
Fax: 970-491-2758
Extension staff members are:

Troy Bauder
, Water Quality
Mark Brick, Bean Production
Joe Brummer, Forages
Betsy Buffington, Pesticide
Pat Byrne, Biotechnology
Jessica Davis, Soils
Jerry Johnson, Variety Testing

Raj Khosla
, Precision Farming
Sandra McDonald, Pesticide
Calvin Pearson, New Crops
James Self, Soil, Water & Plant Testing
James R. Stanelle, Colorado Seed Growers
Reagan Waskom
, Water Resources

Colorado State University Home Page Link

Colorado State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Colorado counties cooperating. Cooperative Extension programs are available to all without discrimination. The information given herein is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by Colorado State University Cooperative Extension is implied.

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