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Quay County Extension to host drought management workshop July 28

TUCUMCARI, N.M. - New Mexico has seen scattered rain showers in the past few weeks, but it is still not enough to ease the minds of producers who are dealing with drought conditions and facing tough decisions about the future of their crops and livestock.


New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service in Tucumcari is offering a free drought management workshop July 28, where area producers will get the latest updates on the drought and learn how best to operate and manage their businesses during this difficult time.

"Even with the few scattered showers we have seen, the triple-digit heat is no relief after a rain - the soil is unable to retain the moisture. We are still dealing with high winds too," said Tom Dominguez, Extension agricultural agent in Quay County. "Because of the drought, no water from the Conchas Reservoir is being allocated to farmers at this time."

At the workshop, Paul Gutierrez, an NMSU economics specialist, will talk with producers about the best ways to operate their cash flow during a drought situation and the economic implications of drought, in terms of both production and marketing.

Nick Ashcroft, a range specialist at NMSU, will discuss range management during drought conditions.

Dee Kann, from the Service Operations Office of the National Weather Service, will be on hand to offer a recap of the dry spell New Mexico is going through and the current data on the El Nino-Southern Oscillation climate pattern and how it affects the Southwest. Kann will also give a long-range forecast and weather prediction model.

Judy Smith, with the Farm Service Agency, will talk with attendees about assistance programs available to producers, such as the emergency grazing of Conservation Reserve Program lands. She will also have information on different emergency loan programs available to producers. Ron Wilmot, representative for Congressman Ben Ray Lujan, will also be available to answer questions.

"Through this workshop, we want producers to gain a better understanding of our weather patterns and also learn about the government programs that are out there to help them in these drought-stricken areas," Dominguez said. "Hopefully, producers will be able to share their personal experiences with each other and perhaps rekindle some old practices - and new ones - through the information that will be provided, to help them successfully come through this drought."

The workshop will be held 1:30-4 p.m. at the Terry Turner Extension Building, 216 E. Center Street. Refreshments will be served.

For more information, contact the Quay County Extension office at 575-461-0562.