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Slight relief from the drought in Pueblo

By Jay Polk , Weekend Meteorologist/Reporter, jay.polk@krdo.com
Published On: Apr 07 2014 08:16:59 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 07 2014 08:26:26 PM CDT

The drought continues in southeastern Colorado, but recent rain and snow has provided a little relief.

Pueblo, COLO -

When you think of Pueblo, one of the things that probably comes to mind is the chili pepper.

"Chili is the number one staple (crop) in Pueblo, CO," said Carl Musso.

It's early, but the weather has been favorable to Pueblo County farmers like Musso so far.

"We are in a little bit better shape than we were last year in terms of the water and the snow pack," said Musso.

In California it's a different story.  Prices for vegetables grown there are expected to rise sharply in the months ahead with the drought.  Farmers from Colorado could be picking up some of the slack.

"You have to question what they will have for vegetable production this year, and that will provide an opportunity for vegetable and fruit farmers in this area to have a higher market," said Michael Fisher from the Pueblo County Extension.

Musso sells most of its produce locally, but diversified farms such as his could benefit.

"We grow about 50 other kinds of vegetables," he said.

The rain and snow that has fallen in parts of Pueblo County - and the snow that has fallen in the mountains - are making farmers there optimistic about this year's harvest.

"They're expecting a better crop this year," said Musso.

That means that there will be plenty of chili peppers for roasting in only a few months.

As long as the rains keep coming.

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