Producers should see irrigation water in the next few days

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LARAMIE, Wyo. - (KNEP) - Water is expected to flow into the Gering – Fort Laramie Irrigation Canal Wednesday evening.

The Irrigation Districts will start pumping water into the canal at 6p Wednesday (Source KNEP)

According to Gering – Fort Laramie Irrigation District General Manager Rick Preston, they will begin Wednesday at 6p by opening up 600 second foot water into the canal. From there the next 12-16 hours will be spent adding more water in.

Preston stated they will be limited on the amount of water they can put into the canal, but should be able to get it up to at least 80% of what is normally flowing through the canal.

They are moving ahead aggressively by trying to get water back to producers and will begin delivering water. With that said, the next two weeks, Preston and his crew will heavily monitor the canal. He stated they looked at everything and believe at this time the canal will hold.

Preston mentioned producers have said corn and bean won’t see much of a benefit this late in the season, but alfalfa, hay and winter wheat will see the biggest benefits.

The Irrigation District has sent a formal request to the Bureau of Reclamation to try to extend their season out six to eight days into October. The contracted season runs until September 30th when all water must be out of the canal. Preston is hopeful the area can see good weather in September without frost. In order to extend the season, they ultimately need approval from both the State of Nebraska and Wyoming.

They are still discussing the inevitable long-term future of the canal and will continue to collect all the data they can. Preston acknowledged two options have come up during discussions which include taking care of the current canal or extending the canal out another mile and a half. He believes they should have some more concrete idea on the long-term project in the next two to three weeks.