HUDSON, Colo. (KDVR) — While the recent wet weather is creating a mess for some people, it is a miracle for others.
“I went to bed and it was raining. And then I woke up and it was still raining. And then it rained all day,” Anita Rossi said.
Rossi owns Rossi Dairy and Produce in Hudson. She says she stayed inside her home for two days while it rained, which is unheard of for a farmer.
“Especially with the last few years, I mean it’s been a 20-year drought or whatever it is,” Rossi said.
The recent spring storm dropped between 2 and 5 inches of rain across the Eastern Plains. It may be enough moisture to pull the region out of its drought.
“I don’t remember seeing all these puddles,” Rossi said. “They’ve been dry for so long and they’re all there. There’s water everywhere.”
Water is a critical resource for them to grow crops that include pumpkins, hard squash, corn and alfalfa. However, Rossi said they plan ahead and plant expecting to not get a drop from the sky.
“You really have to plan on what you put in. Seed is so expensive, labor is expensive. The fuel is expensive. You just can’t be throwing seed out there and work the ground because it’ll die,” she said.
To make matters more difficult, she said the farm only received 35% of its normal allotment of water this year.
“And so we stopped planting all of our corn that we normally do for silage and switched it up with some sorghums and milo because we didn’t think that we were going to get the water,” Rossi said.
Rainfall helps with growing season on Eastern Plains
Following this week’s rains, she said it sets up her farm to have a successful growing season.
“This actually soaks in so the water that you do use has a chance to meet in the middle and actually do some good to the roots,” Rossi said.
The moisture will also help grasses, bushes and weeds grow.
According to West Metro Fire Rescue, the soaking will help reduce fire danger over the next couple of weeks because it will help plants stay green. However, experts say a rainy May followed by a hot, dry June could make fire conditions worse.
“As we get more moisture, we get more vegetation. If we can have consistent moisture we can keep those grasses green, some moisture in the vegetation. But if it starts to dry out for a prolonged period of time afterward, that just increases the amount of vegetation available to burn,” West Metro firefighter Jonathan Ashford said.
Right now, Ashford said the western side of the Denver metro area is expected to have a “normal” summer of fire activity. He said that means there will likely be a few fires and the potential for a large wildfire.