Drought hitting pause on our business
We operate orchards in Paonia and Hotchkiss, Colorado. We've developed a few stopgap measures for managing late season dry spells, but this year has hit us with so much force, we're scrambling to make a plan. We are in a phase of heavy planting and young trees are more susceptible to drought. It's imperative for our farms to get the ground planted and productive in the next 3-4 years, but if we see significant tree and crop losses because of our dry falls, we'll be in trouble. Planting costs per acre are significant, and we can only take so many start-overs. With a poor water outlook next year, we're looking at every possible answer for how to survive. We've become involved in our canal company to advocate for management that works for our farms, we're investigating ever way to get different water or store water, and even looking around the world for drought innovations in commercial orchards. Whatever we do wont be cheap or easy, but our future depends on it.