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November 15, 2013
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Rocky Ag Notebook: Stock Show selects parade grand marshal, CSU expands rain data availability

National Western Stock Show announces parade grand marshal

The 108th National Western Stock Show announces William Dean Singleton as the 2014 Grand Marshal for the annual Stock Show Kick-Off Parade.

William Dean Singleton is the former chairman and co-founder of Denver-based newspaper chain, Media News Group Inc. and chairman of The Denver Post.

On Jan. 9, Dean Singleton will lead the nearly century old tradition of Longhorn cattle, horses, and western wagons through the streets of downtown Denver to celebrate the start of the 108th National Western Stock Show, Jan. 11-26.

The parade begins at noon at Union Station and marches 15 blocks down 17th Street.

CSU precip data gains wider availability through partnership

Precipitation data compiled by Colorado State University’s Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) is being used commercially for the first time in a software product developed by aWhere Inc., a Wheat Ridge, Colorado-based company.

For more information about CIRA, go to

Weld County’s main crop insurer paying out at record levels

The historic drought of 2012 took its toll on Weld County, Colo., crops, but some numbers indicate this year’s hail storms, record flooding, late planting and other factors were collectively more devastating for farmers.

Owners of J-9 Crop Insurance based in Ault — the largest crop insurer in Weld County and the Front Range — said this month they’re expecting their customers to receive about $8 to 9 million in crop insurance indemnities to cover their agricultural losses this year.

Drought was the main reason for the influx in insurance payments last year, but, this year the reasons are much more varied.

‘Our own water on our own land’

Farmers in the Lower Arkansas Valley want to be able to use their own water to supplement wells, but see legal and engineering hurdles.

So, with the help of the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District, they are seeking legislation to change replacement requirements for wells.

The legislation would allow a farmer to use surface water from existing water rights as replacement water for well depletions on the same ground, provided it already has been part of a well augmentation plan.

As it stands now, farmers are required to file for a change of use in water court after operating for 10 years under a substitute water supply plan.

Casper said that is too expensive and takes time. The new law would allow farmers to use water that had already been permitted or decreed for replacement use without a court filing.

JBS, union still butting heads over worker contract

JBS and its largest group of employees in Greeley are still far apart in negotiations over the next contract that will govern wages, health care benefits and working conditions at the Greeley beef packing plant.

The company and the employees, under the United Food and Commercial Workers Local No. 7, have been butting heads over the contract which officially ended Sept. 29, but which has been extended daily and will continue until a new contract is reached.

UFCW state President Kim Cordova said they have a long way to go.

JBS spokesman Cameron Bruett said regardless of how long negotiations take, employees will receive pay raises retroactively.

New program designed to help prepare for droughts

As part of President Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the Obama Administration this past week announced an interagency National Drought Resilience Partnership to help communities better prepare for future droughts and reduce the impact of drought events on livelihoods and the economy.

Responding to requests from communities, businesses, and farmers and ranchers, the National Drought Resilience Partnership will make it easier to access Federal drought resources, and will help link information such as monitoring, forecasts, outlooks, and early warnings with longer-term drought resilience strategies in critical sectors such as agriculture, municipal water systems, energy, recreation, tourism and manufacturing.

In its first year, the Partnership will focus on creating a new, web-based portal to ease access to Federal agency drought recovery resources, hosting more frequent regional drought outlook forums that provide access to experts and locally relevant information, supporting the coordination of a national soil moisture monitoring network to help improve monitoring and forecasting drought conditions, and identifying a single point of contact for the public.

In collaboration with local, state and regional governments, the Partnership will also undertake a pilot project in a western area hard hit by drought to create a local-scale drought resilience plan that could be applied in other areas.

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The Fence Post Updated Nov 15, 2013 12:17PM Published Dec 10, 2013 09:57AM Copyright 2013 The Fence Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.