Loss of canal could wreak havoc on crops

Hundreds of farmers in northern Cache Valley now face the prospect of no more irrigation water the remainder of the growing season. About 900 subscribers to the northern valley canal, breached by a landslide Saturday in the island area of Logan, have no water with little prospect for any soon. Area wells could be a source, but there aren’t’t that many of them according to USU Agricultural Extension Agent Clark Israelson. He said the second cutting of alfalfa shouldn’t be affected but irrigating corn silage is a priority for many and there is no water for that. “The worst part of this,” Israelson said, “is that input costs – for fertilizer and so forth – have already been expended.” He said Cache Valley is fortunate to have what is probably the best supply of water in the state but with so much of it now gone it is very difficult to divert water from other systems in the valley. Adding to the problems, we’re right in the middle of prime growing season. “Most of the growth takes place from the Fourth of July to the middle of September when we typically harvest,” Israelson said. “It’s not uncommon to harvest about 30 ton of corn silage per acre.” Corn grows quickly as the days get hot, Israelson said, but that’s only if they get water.

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