special to the pilot & today
The Community Agri-culture Alliance is a service-oriented organization and will be holding the Northwestern Colorado bull sale again this year. The event will be at 9 a.m. Saturday. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with the auction starting at 1 p.m. There will be 55 bulls and 15 heifers (in pens of five head) offered for sale. The cattle are not overly fitted but are in excellent range condition, and they are acclimated to this area.
A new feature to this year's sale is the offering of pens of heifers. The yearling heifers have been selected to make a positive addition to cow herds. With beef cattle numbers down nationally, now is an excellent time to make cattle additions. By buying locally, hauling expenses and travel time can be saved, and top-of-the-line genetics can be acquired with these Gelvbieh, Hereford, Black and Red Angus cattle. The bulls have been PAP, Trich, and fertility tested.
See you at the sale.
Snow surveys provide important information
As an irrigator, ditch manager or reservoir operator, wouldn't it be great to be able to predict how much water will be available for next summer's use? The Farmer's Almanac is a source that some people consult to give them insight into future precipitation estimates. During the years, local folklore has developed as a means to help with predictions. The height of the skunk cabbage in August can be used to gauge snowpack during the next winter. There is also the height of the wasp nests in the trees. Everyone knows that high wasp nests mean deep snow. Right?
Fortunately, in the intermountain West, we benefit from a much more scientific forecasting approach.
Since 1935, the U.S. Dep-artment of Agriculture/Natural Resources Conservation Service has been conducting snow surveys. With specialized equipment, snow surveyors measure the depth of the snowpack in designated watersheds.
Many of these survey sites are in remote backcountry areas that require snowshoes or snowmobiles to access. A "snow tube" is used to take a core sample of snow, and then it is weighed on a spring scale. By calculating a depth-to-weight ratio, snow water equivalent is determined. This information is recorded and compared to a 30-year average. The results indicate how much water the snowpack will contribute to the spring runoff.
There are more than 900 snow courses and 570 Snotel sites where this information is gathered.
This hydrological information is made available to water users, who then can make some scientifically based predictions about water availability. If you would like current data about the condition of this year's snowpack, you can access www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/snotel, or you can call the NRCS office in Steamboat Springs at 879-3225.
Ag law conference to be held June 17 and 18
For the third year, the Colorado Bar Association's section on Agricultural and Rural Law will hold its annual conference in Steamboat Springs. Conference topics are being finalized, but the dates have been set for June 17 and 18, at the Sheraton Steamboat Resort Hotel's conference center. In addition, the Bar Association's Water Law Conference will be held.
This is an excellent opportunity to learn about current laws and trends that relate to agriculture and water in Colorado. Additional information will be provided as the programs are finalized. Registration information can be found at www.cobar.org.