Colorado Drought: Lack of H2O or Lack of Planning
By David Cromley
David Cromley is a sales rep and branch manager for Helena Chemical Company in Denver, CO. David has worked in the Green Industry since 1984 and has served on the board of directors for several industry associations including the RMRTA, CALCP, CSTMA and the Colorado State University IPM Advisory Board.
Driving the I-70 corridor in beautiful Colorado makes it easy to believe the reports of snowpack in the 150- 170% range. The ski industry has extended the season in areas, and there will be plenty of naked skiing in the next few weeks. Folks are always amazed when I tell them there are only two states that don’t depend on another state or province for their water, Hawaii of course and Colorado. As a headwater state, the water we don’t keep is lost, and the prospects of infrastructure to store more water is not good (but that’s another story).
As hard as we try to educate the public on water not being cumulative, we still hear people say, “It can’t be dry because it rained two weeks ago.” The Colorado winds, clay soils, sand and dust blown in from the west and a location that is a mile closer to the sun are the perfect ingredients for concrete! We are literally growing grass on a brick. Average annual rainfall in Colorado is in the 17” range, which makes irrigating landscapes the norm. Making the best use of our water is critical in these conditions.
Helena has some great offerings to ensure water is being used efficiently and effectively so plants can thrive in less than stellar environmental conditions. As part of Helena’s BioScience product line, Hydra-Hume®, Receptor® and NutrAsyst® can help improve the long term productivity of the soil and water. Hydra-Hume improves fertilizer uptake, helps reduce nutrient leaching and improves the soil biology, enhancing root development. Receptor, an Advanced Nutrient Catalyst, increases nutrient and moisture uptake with improved tolerance of early-season growing stresses. NutrAsyst, an organic acid, improves soil and plant moisture retention.
As part of Helena’s water management product line, Reservoir®, Soaker® Plus and Aristocracy® help regulate the irrigation needs of plants by conditioning the soil. Reservoir and Reservoir DG increase infiltration and water-holding capacity while also reducing evapotranspiration. Just ask the guys in the desert southwest how Reservoir helps them save thousands of dollars every year on golf courses by enhancing the efficiency of the soil/water interface.
Soaker Plus is a blend of nonionic surfactants focusing on LDS (localized dry spot). Aristocracy is a nonionic wetting agent and soil conditioner, targeting dry soil and water repellency. Aristocracy promotes consistent water flow into and throughout the root zone.
The water-saving benefits of Helena’s BioScience and water management products can save you big time in the long run. It might not always look like Coors Field, but it will be agronomically solid. Grass is always greener where you water it in Colorado. By the way, how about those Colorado Rockies?