Growers Coping with Drought
With no rain in the forecast, the record of 109 days without precipitation will fall Monday. The smaller than average snow pack last winter in the New Mexico mountains and dry weather persisting over much of the southwest, have kept the Rio Grande at lower levels. Farmers along the Rio Grande are only eligible for about 5 inches of water per acre of farmland from irrigation channels.
Crops like pecan trees require around 60 inches of water per acre for a healthy crop. The water not supplied by the Rio Grande must be provided by wells. If the drought continues over a long period of time, the water table will become lower and shallow wells will begin to run dry.
The summer monsoon is our wettest time of the year, but it could be a few weeks before the first of the rains begin to fall.