Mancos briefs

Alfalfa production is up, but prices lag

Local alfalfa production is up this summer, but prices are lagging.

The alfalfa supply in Kansas and Oklahoma has been strong, forcing prices down, said Greg Mahaffey, a broker and farmer in Yellow Jacket.

Locally, a ton of the highest-quality alfalfa is bringing in about $230 to $240, compared with $250 to $260 last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The California drought in hasn’t played a big a role as predicted, with many dairies turning to Arizona, he said.

However, more irrigation water may allow more growers than last year to make a third cutting, said Abdel Berrada, director of the Southwestern Colorado Research Center in Yellow Jacket. He said the chances may be higher for those who have diverse operations.

Last year, some growers with McPhee Reservoir rights received 6 acre-inches for the season. This year, the average is closer to 22 acre-inches, Mahaffey said.

Ideally, an additional 8 inches of rain would make for a particularly healthy third cutting.

County commisioners lift fire ban

County commissioners lifted the fire ban in Montezuma County on Monday, citing recent rainfall.

Residents must still call Cortez Dispatch at 970-565-8441 before conducting an open burn. Fires are still prohibited on red flag warning days, windy days or other days of higher risk, according to the county’s statement. If the wind picks up after starting the fire, extinguish the fire and finish another day.

Marijuana fees to be discussed

The Mancos Town Board plans to discuss at its Aug. 13 meeting placing a $2 flat fee on every purchase of recreational marijuana.

If it’s approved, the fee would start being collected in January.

The town documents included some of the estimates for the revenue it might collect if a recreational marijuana shop opens in town based on a $2 fee and current sales taxes. If a recreational marijuana shop sold $15,000 worth of product in a month the town could collect about $1,125. If a shop sold $50,000 worth of product in a month the town could collect about $3,750.

Mancos State Park to offer weekend programs

The Mancos State Park will continue to offer environmental education programs this weekend.

From 10 to 11 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 16, park naturalist Carol Bylsma will lead a butterfly and insect walk. Participants will learn to identify, catch and release butterflies and insects. From 3 to 3:35 p.m., Bylsma will lead “Wild Games,” and participants – kids and adults– will learn about Colorado predators. At 7 p.m., a campfire program will feature information about Mancos State Park, being bear-aware while camping and hiking, and more. Prizes will be awarded.

From 10 to 11 a.m., Sunday, Aug. 17, Bylsma will lead another butterfly and insect walk.

Programs at the park are free, but every vehicle must pay for entry: $7 per day or $70 for an annual pass. To make camping reservations: call 1-800-678-2267, or see the campground reservation section of the Colorado Parks and Reservation website,

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The Mancos Times