NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Even with all this recent rainfall it still might not be enough to help New Mexico farmers this year. Chris Lopez is a farmer in the Socorro Valley. He says farming can be a gamble, especially with the ongoing drought. He says the recent rain was a little bit of a relief, but questions whether it’s enough.

Water is a precious resource, especially for farmers in New Mexico but with the persistent hot and dry conditions it’s hard to predict how their season will go this year. “Farming you know it’s just a gamble you know it’s just you know a lot you depend on mother nature for a lot of things water is one of them,” Lopez said.

Although the monsoons have arrived in New Mexico. The CEO of the Rio Grande Conservancy District, Jason Casuga, says the rain we have received is not nearly enough.

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According to the MRGCD, New Mexico is set to have average or below-average rainfall this year. That means farmers planning for the fall planting season have some decisions to make.  “I’m hoping farmers you know take that into account, make good decisions at least for them and their families on whether they’re going to plant,” Casuga said. 

New Mexico isn’t the only state being impacted by the drought. Casuga explains, “Pretty much east of the Mississippi and kind of the bottom quadrant of the southwest of the United States is suffering from a really terrible drought. I say drought but I really think it’s more of a hydraulic reality.”

He continues to say farmers are at the mercy of what the river basin produces. “At the end of the day, I don’t know if I’m going to have water to deliver them for any type of fall plants. If it doesn’t keep raining it’s highly unlikely.”

All of this could take a huge toll on our state’s staple crop. “I grow chile, you know I have to have water for chile. You know it has to have water every two weeks or else it won’t survive,” said Lopez.

Despite more hot and dry conditions to come Lopez is holding onto hope. “You gotta stay positive, you can’t be negative about it you know or else you’re just going to be miserable.”

Another thing limiting the ability to store water right now is the El Vado dam the middle valley typically has access to is currently under rehabilitation. The Rio Grande Water Conservancy District has different programs to help connect farmers with resources. Visit their website for more information.