Little Blue NRD Hosts Soil and Water Conference

By: Erin Myers Email
By: Erin Myers Email

After one of the driest years on record, there's a lot of anticipation for what spring will bring.

National Weather Service Meteorologist, Shawn Rossi says,"It's kind of good to remind people droughts come in cycles. They aren't one year events. It gives them an idea for planting in the future."

But future rainfall in the coming months is uncertain.

"The long-range outlooks aren't giving us much of clue at this point... giving us equal chances of near normal precipitation, near below or near above. So it's still kind of a guess at this point", said Rossi.

That's why Little Blue NRD hosted a Water and Soil Conference in Hastings... giving suggestions and sharing helpful tools that agricultural producers may find useful with the recent drought.
Water Resources Specialist, Daryl Andersen, says the topics discussed look at current problems, like Hastings dealing with high nitrates in the drinking water.

"We need to curb the nitrogen use in these areas so we can get the standard down below ten parts per million," said Andersen.

In addition to drinking water, Rossi says many people ask how much rain to expect for the planting season. He says we have a huge rainfall deficit to get out of and there's no immediate relief.

"Anywhere from 6 to 9 inches of liquid precipitation across the local area is what we would need to get back to normal and that would be on top of normal precipitation. So normally, we see 6 inches between now and April. We would need to see between 12 to 15 inches, which is well beyond the established records we have," said Rossi.

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