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CSU Extension


The Extension program in Rio Blanco is a partnership between Rio Blanco County and Colorado State University, which enables individuals to have access to programs in agriculture and 4-H/Youth. Colorado State University Extension provides information and education and encourages the application of research-based knowledge in response to local, state and national issues affecting individuals, youth, families, agricultural enterprises and communities in Colorado.

Meeker Contact
County Fairgrounds
P O Box 270
Meeker, CO 81641
(970) 878-9490
FAX 878-4095
Rangely Contact
Western Annex
17497 Hwy 64
Rangely, CO 81648
(970) 878-9495
FAX 675-5211

 
Rio Blanco County Cooperative Extension
csuext@rbc.us

Bill Ekstrom, Extension Agent (Agriculture and 4-H/Youth)
bill.ekstrom@rbc.us

Rozilynn Witherell, Program Coordinator/4-H (Rangely)
rozilynn.witherell@rbc.us

Carley Smith, Program Coordinator/4-H Youth Development
carley.smith@rbc.us


CHOOSE PESTICIDES WISELY

Originally produced by the Department of Horticulture at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. 
Adapted for use in Rio Blanco County by Bill Ekstrom, CSU Cooperative Extension. 
bekstrom@coop.ext.colostate.edu 


Healthy plants are less susceptible to attack by pests. Good cultural practices can reduce pest outbreaks.
Do you really need a pesticide?

Before you purchase any pesticide you should answer some important questions. 
  • Is the damage actually being caused by a pest? Could it be weather or a culture practice, such as over or under watering, fertilizer, or damage?
  • If it is a pest, what kind is it? Insect? Disease? Animal? Weed? Rodent?
  • Are there non-chemical ways to control the problem? Is the damage severe enough to warrant chemical control?
  • Is pesticide use cost-effective? Or would the chemical treatment cost more than the crop value?
  • Can the pest be controlled by a chemical at this stage of its life cycle, or would application at a different time be more effective?
Just because you see insects does not mean that insects are a problem. Identifying the real problem is essential before selecting any type of control. Many excellent resources are available to help you identify pests or pest-caused problems. Talk to trained professionals at nurseries, garden centers, and your local Cooperative Extension Office. Check reference books dealing with plant pests and diseases.

Which pesticide will meet your need? 
If you decide a pesticide is needed, read the pesticide labels carefully. You must choose a product that is specifically labeled for use on the plant you wish to protect and effective against the pest you want to control. Never use a pesticide on a food-bearing plant unless the label directs such use.The general term pesticide includes insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, rodenticides, etc. You must determine which product is appropriate to combat your problem. For example, an insecticide is effective only against insect pests. Some insecticides target only a certain type of insect. An insecticide alone will not solve a weed or disease problem, but some pesticide products contain two or more active ingredients; for instance, a formulation for rose care can contain an insecticide and a fungicide.

Which pesticide is best for your situation? 
Avoid problems by taking the time to carefully study your pesticide needs. Your local Cooperative Extension professional can help with pesticide recommendations, as well as help you tailor the application to the site intended. Personal and environmental safety are prime concerns.
  • Consider the site. 
    • Read the label of each product under consideration to be sure that it can be used in place and the manner you intend. For example, if the label indicates that the material is toxic to fish, do not use it on plants along the border of a pond. If the label requires that you wait two weeks form the time that you spray until you harvest, it should not be used on vegetables or fruits that are almost ripe. Consider all uses of the site to which the pesticide will be applied. Protect children, pets, and wildlife by careful pesticide selection and use.
  • Consider the equipment needs. 
    • What application equipment and personal protective equipment does the label require? Do you have the gear? If not, are you willing to purchase, use and maintain it? Do you want a pesticide that must be mixed and loaded into a sprayer, or will a pre-mixed, "ready-to-use" product in a spray bottle be more appropriate to your needs?
  • Minimize waste. 
    • Buy only the amount of pesticide you anticipate using in one season. Most pesticides have a limited shelf life. If pesticides are stored, they must be protected from extreme heat and cold, and must be kept in a secure, locked place. Read the storage section of the product label before purchasing, and do not buy a product that you can't store as directed. Also, remember that pesticides must be kept in their original containers with the labels intact.
  • If your must use a pesticide.
    • Read the label carefully to be sure that it is intended for use on the type of plant you wish to protect, to control the type of pest you've identified. Pesticide users are legally bound to follow label directions. You should read a pesticide label thoroughly before purchase, before each use, and prior to storage or disposal. 
  • Carefully read the disposal directions.
    • Be sure you can properly dispose of any unused or unwanted pesticide and the pesticide's container according to the manufacture's recommended method.
  • Compare costs.
    • If all else is equal, compare the cost per unit of active ingredient before making your final selection.
Good cultural practices will help reduce the need for pesticides. 

Use these guidelines to keep your plants healthy:
  • Select plants adapted or native to your area.
  • Control weeds - use mulches and hand-pulling where possible.
  • Water adequately - over watering and under watering can also be damaging.
  • Do not crowd plants - planting too close weakens plants and increases disease.
  • Fertilize properly - inadequate fertilization causes weak plants susceptible to insects and disease; too much fertilizer can damage plants and pollute ground water.
  • Add organic matter such as compost to the soil - rich soil leads to healthier plants.
  • Control pests before they become established - hand remove insects or diseased leaves as soon as you see them.
  • Pesticides can be valuable gardening tools, but they must be selected with personal and environmental safety in mind. As with other tools, it is important to use the right pesticide for the job. Care and planning before pesticides are purchased can ensure safe and proper use. 

For more information on selection, planting, cultural practices, and environmental quality, contact the Rio Blanco County Cooperative Extension Office at (970) 878-4093 or (970) 675-2417. 

Colorado State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Rio Blanco County cooperating.
Cooperative Extension programs are available to all without discrimination

THE SECRET TO STARTING A NEW LAWN


Beautiful green lawns are the product of good management. Attention should be given to proper establishment, mowing, fertilization, and watering. Your weed and disease problems should be minimal with proper care. Contact your local Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Office for more information concerning various management recommendations.

SOIL PREPARATION

  • Attention to soil preparation before seeding or sodding a lawn will help assure satisfactory results and help reduce your water bill. Before establishing a lawn, remove all debris such as rocks and building materials. The top 8 to 12 inches of soil should be free of any large debris.
  • Grade the lawn area so it slopes away from the house. Thoroughly soak excavated areas such as around sewer and water lines and over septic systems to settle the fill dirt. After the fill areas are settled, add topsoil. Make sure all topsoil is free from salt or alkali. Repeat soaking and tilling until the surface is level.
  • Add one inch of well-rotted horse manure (cattle manure tends to compact too much) and wood shavings. Thoroughly work this material deeply into the soil (8-10 inches). Then add another 1-2 inches of wood shavings or peat moss and work this in. Weathered wood shavings are preferred. Caution: Higher rates of pine shavings could cause an accumulation of turpentine.
  • For heavier soils, it's good to add 2-5 inches of sand. Sand should be washed to remove salt and silt. Sand needs to be round particles, not crushed, as round won't compact as easily. All fill material should be selected for cleanliness and absence of alkali and salt. During soil preparation, work 5-10 pounds of available phosphate per 1,000 square feet into the soil. This will help supply phosphorus to the deeper growing turfgrass roots. Soils prepared in this manner require less water and are healthier.
  • Watering a day or so before finishing the soil preparation will help eliminate large, hard clods. Soil should be well worked and left firm, but not packed, prior to turf establishment. If walking over the lawn site leaves footprints greater than 1" deep, firm the soil with a roller.
  • Quality is the prime consideration in buying seed or sod. Planting cheap seed mixtures or cut-rate sod often results in a poor lawn. Although varieties of Kentucky Bluegrass would work fine in some areas of the county, it's not very hardy in areas with a high salt content or in drier climates. For alkali or salty areas use Tall Fescue, Red Fescue and perennial Rye grass varieties. These varieties are more drought and salt tolerant and very good for dry rocky soils, yet still develop a very attractive lawn. Lawn mixes that contain large amounts of annual ryegrass should be avoided.
  • If the lawn is to be seeded, use a drop type or broadcast spreader. Seeding in two directions reduces the likelihood of skips.
  • Frequent, light watering, as many as three or four a day, is necessary during warmer periods, until the seed germinates. This may take two weeks or longer depending on the weather.
  • If the decision has been made to sod the lawn, remember that sod is perishable. Sod should not be left rolled or folded for more than a day in warm weather.
  • Check the soil before laying the sod. If it is dry, sprinkle it lightly. Lay the first strip of sod in a straight line and the next strip as tightly against the previous strip as possible. Think of it as laying bricks for a wall. Roll the sod after first using a light roller to help firm and smooth the surface.
  • Soak the sod as soon as possible after laying. Turn back a few corners to make sure water has penetrated the sod. Water to keep the new sod damp, but not wet.
  • One problem when laying sod is the inability of the grass roots to penetrate the soil. To avoid this, make sure that the soil beneath the sod is of a lighter texture than the soil in the sod. Numerous cases exist where the roots from the sod, after several years, have still not penetrated the base soil.
  • Avoid walking on the new lawn as much as possible. Keep footprints to a minimum by temporarily laying boards across the lawn to support all foot traffic. Mow the new lawn when the grass reaches a height of 2 to 2.5 inches. Avoid the use of herbicides until after mowing two, and preferably three times.
FERTILIZATION

  • After the grass has been established, the use of either a liquid or solid nitrogen fertilizer can be used. Apply at the rate of ½ pound of available nitrogen per 1000 square feet, as needed, usually every four to six weeks.
  • A good lawn fertilization program would include a fall application of one pound of available nitrogen per 1000 square feet between mid October and mid November. Follow this by one pound in the spring, from mid May to mid June, or when the lawn exhibits a general yellowing. Apply ½ pound of available nitrogen fertilizer every 4-6 weeks as needed. The purpose of late season fertilizing is to eliminate excess spring growth, maintain fall color, have a taster spring green up, reduce the need for early spring fertilizer, make it less susceptible to disease, and more hardened to summer heat and drought stress. Avoid heavy and infrequent applications. Spread the fertilizer evenly and follow by normal watering to leach the fertilizer from the root zone of the grass. Note: If using a weed and feed fertilizer, follow watering and application directions found on the bag.
  • All additional phosphate fertilizer should be applied in the fall. The application of complete fertilizers containing nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium are good sources of nutrients. Nitrogen should be either ammonium sulphate or urea. Try to avoid ammonium nitrate because it tends to promote disease. Expensive lawn fertilizers are not necessarily better.
AERATION AND THATCH REMOVAL

Thatch removal is usually recommended only for aesthetic reasons. There is usually little value in de-thatching a lawn except for the removal of worm mounds and dead grass clippings. Dead grass clippings remaining from last fall will soon decompose and no longer be obvious if the above fertilization recommendations are used. If a thatch build- up of over 1-1/2"occurs, power raking is advisable. Set the blades to avoid excessive damage to the grass. Aeration is recommended at least twice a year, around April and September. Aeration increases water penetration and aeration, \particularly in lawns with heavy foot traffic or play areas. On heavy clay soil, top-dress the lawn with ½" of sand following aeration. Washed and round sand particles are preferred. This promotes the adsorption and movement of water and air, and relieves compaction problems.
MOWING

Mowing should be done on a regular basis. When grass reaches 3 inches in height, remove one inch. If grass is maintained at this length, a grass catcher is not needed, and clippings can remain to build the soil profiles. Lawns clipped too short have weak, poorly developed roots, which encourage weeds. Higher clipping provides more leaf surface to support a healthy root system.
WATERING

Daily, shallow watering is not recommended. This encourages disease and weed problems. Instead, water according to the lawn's needs. Look for a blue cast in the lawn's color; this indicates a need for water. At this time, you should water until moisture reaches 6-8 inches in depth. Do not allow leaves to remain moist longer than 16 hours. This promotes disease. Normally, water every 3-5 days. Naturally, sandy or shallow soils will require watering more often than heavier clay soils. During excessive rainstorms, watering should be preempted to reduce risk of disease problems. Fall and spring watering should be on a limited basis. Some lawns can go for weeks without watering, depending on weather conditions. Harden off a lawn prior to winter to reduce winter drought problems. A final late, deep irrigation just prior to winter onset is recommended. The above process will promote a healthy, more disease and drought resistant lawn, which will require less water throughout the year.

WEED & INSECT CONTROL

Follow specific label recommendations on all chemicals.

BROAD LEAF WEEDS

Weed and feed lawn fertilization products can be used, but damage is possible to tree and shrub planting in landscape by absorption of chemicals into the plant roots. Instead use 2-4 D Amine or a similar product for weed control.

GRASS WEEDS

Use a product such as glyphosate, applied directly to leaves of grass-like weeds. such as Johnson grass, Orchard grass, etc.

INSECTS

If insect problems are evident, consult your Cooperative Extension office or local garden center.
For more related information go to: 

CSU COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE IN ACTION SHEETS 

Look for the following yard topics: 

  1. 7.202 Lawn Care
  2. 7.211 Fall & Winter Watering
  3. 7.232 Xeriscaping: Turf & Ornamental Grasses 


SOIL AND WATER SAMPLE METHODS

SOIL SAMPLES FROM THE LANDSCAPE AREA 
  • Take the soil sample from the area of the soil where the roots of the plant will be growing. In the case of gardens, lawns, and trees, this will be to a depth of 12". If this is not possible, then sample at least a 6" depth.
  • Take several random samples from the area you are testing. If it is a GARDEN AREA: You should take about six samples scattered over the garden area. These are then all mixed together to form a combined sample. The final sample is then taken from this mix. LAWN AREA: You should take several samples from all parts of the front and back yard and then mix them together as recommended for gardens. WOODY PLANTS: Because the root system on a tree can extend out to twice or more the distance of the spread of the branches, take your lawn samples from the drip line area or slightly beyond and then mix these to get the final sample.
  • If you have a problem area in your yard or garden where you think there might be a different type of soil or a fertilizer problem, you might want to have more than one sample tested. Remember, it will cost you for each soil sample that is tested, and unless you have a problem area or are going to be fertilizing different areas with different rates of fertilizer, an overall sample of an area is all that is usually needed.
  • The soil-testing lab will need about one pint of air-dried soil. If the soil is moist, the nitrogen level of the soil can change from the time you take it from the yard until it is tested. Air-dry the sample if it is moist. DON'T dry it in the oven. After drying, place the sample in a plastic resealable bag or a regular soil sample bag that can be obtained from the soil testing lab or your local Cooperative Extension Office.
  • Make sure you list the types of plants that you are planning on growing in the soil on the soil sample information sheet. (I.e., vegetables, shrubs, lawn, etc.) We need this information so we can make the proper fertilizer recommendation. We waste valuable time trying to contact you to find out what you will be growing if this is not put on the information sheet.
  • Avoid taking the soil sample with old rusty tools and make sure you place the sample in a non-metal container.
  • THE SOIL TESTING LAB CANNOT TEST FOR PESTICIDE CONTAMINATION, WHICH MIGHT BE IN THE SOIL. YOU WILL HAVE TO CONTACT AN INDEPENDENT LAB TO HAVE THESE TESTS DONE. Colorado State University does have a plant disease diagnostic clinic. It is open from about April to September.
  • The soil test will take from two to three weeks or more depending on the time of year. You will receive the soil test report and a bill from the lab. An interpretation of the results is available by the local Cooperative Extension agent.

SUBMITTING WATER SAMPLES FOR ANALYSIS

  • Obtaining a representative water sample is a first step towards determining water quality. Water samples should be placed in plastic containers that can be sealed tightly with plastic caps. Sample containers should be at least four fluid ounces. A four-ounce sample is enough to do major cations (Ca, Mg, Na, K), major anions (CO3, HO3, CI, SO4, NO3), pH and electrical conductivity. If additional testing were required, more samples would be necessary.
  • Bottles should be rinsed with water prior to taking the sample. If soap is used to clean containers, the bottle should be rinsed thoroughly prior to sampling - detergent can contain some phosphorous and other minerals that may contaminate the water sample.
  • When obtaining samples, there are generally two points at which samples may be taken. The first point is at the primary source such as a well head, spring, or lake prior to entering the household plumbing system or undergoing any on-site treatment. The second point is at the site of consumption such as the kitchen water faucet where the water has passed through the household plumbing. Samples from the secondary site within the household may be influenced by the effect the plumbing has on water quality.
  • To sample the primary water source, allow water to flow about five minutes from a faucet on the main line, if available, or as near the water source as possible. The five-minute purging process will help remove any sediment that may have settled into the well casing or pipes and allow the sampling of fresh ground or surface water.
  • The container and lid should be rinsed three times with the water being sampled. With the water flowing, the container should be filled to the top with as little air as possible in the container. Seal the container, label it with a waterproof marker, and place the sample in the refrigerator. To sample water at the point of consumption, it is desirable to obtain the sample first thing in the morning, prior to using any water elsewhere in the house. The sample should be taken from a cold-water faucet furthest away from where the water enters the house. Do not allow any water to flow prior to taking the sample. Obtain the sample in a clean container, completely filling the container with sample water. Water that has stood in pipes all night will generally have the potential to contain higher levels of heavy metals such as lead, especially if lead solder or lead pipes were used in the household plumbing. Place the sample in the refrigerator until it can be taken or sent to a laboratory. Do not freeze water samples.
  • Labels on the sample should include name, address, phone number, and location. An information sheet with the name, address, and type of test desired should accompany the sample. Samples should be sent to the laboratory as soon as possible, since some tests have to be done immediately (such as pH) or within 24 hours (such as alkalinity) to be accurate. 
  • A correctly taken water sample will help ensure accurate results.

BACTERIOLOGICAL SAMPLES

  • Take samples from the primary water source, allowing water to flow about five minutes from a faucet on the main line, if available, or as near the water source as possible. The five-minute purging process will help remove any sediment that may have settled into the well casing or pipes and allow the sampling of fresh ground or surface water.
  • Collection bottles are available from your local Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Office or local Department of Health. Containers have a chemical that aids in the biological tests, so do not rinse out the container.
  • Because of shipping delays, always mail the container on Monday or Tuesday. Hand delivering is also acceptable. Labels on the sample should include name, address, phone number, and location. An information sheet with the name, address, and type of test desired should accompany the sample.



MAKING YOUR WELL WATER SAFE


Clean water is vital to human existence. Contamination of our drinking water can have serious consequences. Cooperation between individuals and communities, and communities and government, is necessary to achieve clean ground water.
In rural areas, each individual homeowner must be responsible for appropriate treatment of home drinking water.

The following analysis of point-of-view treatment systems is offered to help individuals make wise decisions about treating contaminated water sources for use in their homes.

Information Prepared by:
Colorado State University, Water Resources Research Institute, Dr. Robert Ward, Director, 12/99

And

Bill Ekstrom
CSU Extension Agent
bekstrom@coop.ext.colostate.edu

Rio Blanco County Fairgrounds
P.O. Box 270
Meeker, CO 81641
(970) 878-4093

Western Annex
17497 HWY 64
Rangely, CO 81648 
(970) 675-2417

Colorado State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Colorado counties cooperating. Cooperative Extension programs are available to all without discrimination. No endorsement of products named is intended nor is criticism implied of products not mentioned.


INDIVIDUAL DRINKING WATER SUPPLY

Small communities and rural areas not served by central sewer and water supply systems have reason to be concerned about their home water quality.

In the Rocky Mountain region, where the bedrock is formed of granite, there is often not enough soil for proper percolation of waste water through leach fields. Leach fields usually need about eight feet of soil through which wastewater travels on its way to the water table. Where there is not enough soil, unclean waste water can reach the water table. Faulty waste water disposal systems are responsible for contamination of the groundwater in many areas of the Rockies. For those using wells as their water supply, this is a serious concern.

The most common and serious contaminates from human sewage in drinking water are nitrates and microorganisms. Infants and pregnant women are at special risk, but all individuals who are exposed are in danger from bacteria, viruses and other microbes entering the drinking water from contaminated ground water.

POINT-OF USE TREATMENT

There are two solutions to this problem.

Point-of-use treatment involves treating water just before use. Two examples of point-of-use treatment are chlorination and filtering. A solution for homeowners to consider is point-of-use treatment for their drinking water or buying commercially. Some point-of-use systems and some methods for choosing them follow.

PURCHASING A SYSTEM

Once the type of system(s) has been chosen, shop around. Always ask dealers if the model they are trying to sell you is certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) or Water Quality Association (WQA). These are non-profit, watch-dog organizations which independently test products relating to water quality. Their certification is a good indication of a reliable product. You may also want to check with the local Better Business Bureau before making a purchase from any dealer. For information comparing specific brands, the January, 1990 issue of Consumer Reports contains an article comparing point-of-use treatment systems.

POINT-OF-USE TREATMENTS

Should a contaminant hazardous to human health be found, there are many options. A particular method of treatment should be chosen based on the specific contaminates and typical water usage. Water purification equipment dealers can be found in the Yellow Pages under "Water Purification and Filtration." Local county officials may know of reliable dealers or consultants.

Cost and maintenance of point-of-use water treatment systems are important factors. Cost can often be controlled by choosing to treat only primary consumption lines. For instance, instead of treating the entire flow from a supply well, you might choose only to treat the water at the kitchen and main bathroom sink. Maintenance varies with each system and model. Be sure to ask the dealer what maintenance is required before making a purchase.

Following is a brief discussion of eight types of point-of-use treatment systems that a homeowner may find useful. The table on page 4 show some types of contaminates each system is capable of controlling.

CHLORINATION

Chlorination is a treatment that is very common in municipal water treatment systems. It involves treating water with chlorine to kill microorganisms. This can be done to an entire well by treating the well with liquid or powdered chlorine.

There is also a new method available which uses a pump to drop chlorine pellets into a well automatically. The only maintenance the homeowner has is restocking the pellets periodically. There are small units, which serve just one home or one faucet available.

Chlorine remains in the water so it will keep working in the pipes well after the water had passed the point-of-use treatment device. Unfortunately, this also leaves a residue in drinking water, which many people find unpleasant to taste or smell. Activated carbon filters are an inexpensive way to reduce the chlorine content and improve taste and odor. While chlorine works on most microbiological contaminates, it does not effect the removal of nitrates.

REVERSE OSMOSIS

Reverse osmosis is basically a filtration system. With the proper filter less than (1 micron) it is effective at removing nitrate and microbiological contaminates. However, it requires a great deal of pressure and generally processes water slowly. Like distillation, it requires energy to run. It is also a rather expensive alternative. It is however, the most effective overall treatment system. Reverse osmosis can remove nitrates, micro biologicals and lead. It is partially effective on organic chemicals and chlorine and can improve odor as well.

ULTRA-VIOLET

This process intense ultra-violet light to kill microorganisms, and it is very effective. It does not, however, solve any other contamination problems. An additional drawback is that, unlike chlorination and iodination, it does not remain in the water over time. Thus, treated water may later be exposed to contaminates, reducing the effectiveness of the initial treatment.

OZONATION

Ozonation use involves bubbling ozone (0) through water causing the reformation and/or death of microbiological contaminates. Used more extensively in Europe than chlorine, this process is still undergoing improvements from developers and may not be readily available. It does show some promise for future commercial development in the United States.

ACTIVATED CARBON FILTER

Activated carbon filtration is not effective on the removal of nitrates or micro-biological contaminates. It does improve appearance and taste of water. It also removes radon and can reduce levels of organic chemicals and lead. The filter requires frequent changing, depending on the flow rate of water through it. The activated carbon filter can actually harbor microorganisms. This system is normally used in conjunction with chlorine or iodination, which impact the taste and odor of water at the point of consumption.

IODINATION

Iodination is much like chlorination in its effect and method of application. Like chlorine, it has the additional benefit of remaining in water for a considerable length of time. This enables it to destroy cysts such as giardia, a common organism which cases diarrhea, on which chlorine has no effect. Iodination is not used in public water supplies in Colorado. It is used less commonly than chlorine. The effect of the residue on the taste and odor of drinking water is an issue for some consumers.

DISTILLATION

In the process of distillation, the water is heated until it evaporates and the steam is then distilled removing or killing many contaminates. This method requires substantial time and energy to operate. If hard water is a problem, deposits left from the distillation process will require frequent cleaning in order to avoid clogging of the filter. This method, however, also removes many contaminates in one step.

ION EXCHANGE

Ion exchange is a process that is commonly referred to as water softening. This treatment system has no effect on the removal of microbiological contaminates, but it does remove nitrate and dissolved minerals. It is readily available commercially and is one of the most common point-of-use treatment system in homes.

Comparison of systems 0 = EFFECTIVE 0 = PARTIALLY EFFECTIVE
ContaminateChlorinationDistillationIon ExchangeReverse OsmosisUltra VioletOzonationIodinationActivated Carbon

Health Hazards
*Nitrates 0 0 0 
*Micro-biologicals(bacteria) 0*** 0 0 0 0 0 
Organic Chemicals 0 0 0
Lead 0 0 0 0
Radon 0
Aesthetic Problems
**Chlorine 0 0 0
Odor 0 0 0
Dissolved Minerals(Hardness) 0 0 0 0 

* These problems are most common with septic ground water
** Chlorine is one of the most common methods to treat biological contaminates, in both commercial and private water treatment.
*** Effective on most biologicals, chlorine does not work on cysts such as Giardia.

MAINTENANCE

Once the system is installed, be sure to follow the recommended maintenance procedures. Most systems cannot work properly if not maintained regularly. For example, carbon filters can harbor microorganisms if not changed according to manufacturers direction. Chlorine only works if it is actually present in water; so, if it is not replenished, no treatment can take place. Reverse osmosis filters can become clogged, slowing their already sluggish production of consumable water. For every system, there is some maintenance required for effective treatment. Bottled water is an option.

COST ANALYSIS METHOD

EQUIPMENT COST RANGE
OPERATION & MAINTENANCE CONSIDERATIONS
Chlorination $260-$830 *Ongoing cost of chlorine pellets, liquid or powder
Distillation $150-$430 *Capacity is generally 0.5-1.5 gallons
*Generally counter-top distillation
Reverse Osmosis

Counter-top
Under-sink $90-$500
$350-$850 *Membrane replacement recommended annually; costs:
$30-$130
$50-$110
Ultra-violet $339-$2170 *Lamp replacement and average maintenance cost is approximately 1/1000 gallons of water treated
Activated Carbon

High Volume
Poor Through $22-$375
$7-$30 *Filters vary in useful life and cost of replacement; cost:
$8-$70
$5-$8
*some filters clog rapidly


SUBMITTING WATER SAMPLES FOR ANALYSIS

  • Obtaining a representative water samples is a first step towards determining water quality. Water samples should be placed in plastic containers that can be sealed tightly with plastic caps. Sample containers should be at least four fluid ounces. A four-ounce sample is enough to do major cations (Ca, Mg, Na, K), major anions (CO3, HCO3, CI, SO4, NO3,) pH, and electrical conductivity. If additional testing is required, more samples would be necessary.
  • If taking a biological test do not rinse the bottle. They have chemicals necessary for biological testing to occur.
  • Bottles should be rinsed with water prior to taking the sample. If soap is used to clean containers, the bottles should be rinsed thoroughly prior to sampling - since detergent can contain some phosphorus and other minerals, which may contaminate the water sample.
  • When obtaining samples, there are generally two points at which samples may be taken. The first point is at the primary source such as a well head, spring, or lake prior to entering the household plumbing system or undergoing any on-site treatment. The second point is at the site of consumption such as the kitchen water faucet where the water has passed through the household plumbing. Samples from the secondary site within the household may be influenced by the effect the plumbing has on water quality.
  • To sample the primary water source, allow water to flow about five minutes from a faucet on the main line, if available, or as near the water source as possible. The five-minute purging process will help remove any sediment that may have settled into the well casing or pipes and allow the sampling of fresh ground or surface water.
  • The container and lid should be rinsed three times with the water being sampled. With the water flowing, the container should be filled to the top with as little air as possible in the container. Seal the container, label it with a waterproof marker, and place the sample in the refrigerator. To sample water at the point of consumption, it is desirable to obtain the sample first thing in the morning, prior to using any water elsewhere in the house. The sample should be taken from a cold water faucet furthest away from where the water enters the house. Do not allow any water to flow prior to taking the sample. Obtain the sample in a clean container, completely filling the container with sample water. Water that has stood in pipes all night will generally have the potential to contain higher levels of heavy metals such as lead, especially if lead solder or lead pipes were used in the household plumbing. Place the sample in the refrigerator until it can be taken or sent to a laboratory. Do not freeze water samples.
  • Labels on the sample should include name, address, phone number, and location. An information sheet with the name, address, and type of test desired should accompany the sample. Samples should be sent to the laboratory as soon as possible since some tests have to be done immediately (such as alkalinity) to be accurate.
  • A correctly taken water sample will help ensure accurate results.
  • Consult the CSU Cooperative Extension office for a correct sampling container.

WATER QUALITY "DO'S & DON'TS"
  • DON'T assume that because your drinking water comes from a well that it is free of contamination.
  • DON'T assume that a test done by a salesman is accurate.
  • DO know that if you use a well as a drinking water source, it is recommended you test your well annually for nitrates and E-coli. E-coli is an indicator that your well may have other dangerous microorganisms and should be treated for them. Levels of contamination are more critical if infants and pregnant women are involved. If infants or pregnant women will be consuming the well water, it should be tested more often.
  • DON'T assume if you tested clean one year you will be clean again next year.
  • DON'T assume that if your septic system is completely functional, your water will be clear of contaminates. Ground water is fed not only from existing aquifers but also from seepage from above. Your neighbor's leach field may affect your ground water; your waste water disposal system may affect their well.
  • DO maintain your point-of-use water treatment system according to manufacturers recommendations. For most systems, lack of adequate maintenance results in useless or even dangerous system operation.

CONCLUSION

It is most certainly preferable to ensure that waste water is properly treated at the point of discharge. Only through such action is it possible to ensure that available ground water is kept pure for continued human use. Both government and individual users must assume and enforce responsibility for safe and thorough treatment of water.
Until that is accomplished, however, appropriate "point-of-use" treatment can ensure the ready availability of safe drinking water for rural Colorado families. Qualified testing and appropriate treatment are available. The provision of safe drinking water from a private water source is an individual responsibility. If you don't do it for your family, it won't get done!


MOUNTAIN MEADOW FERTILIZATION AND HAY PRODUCTION

Prepared by Bill Ekstrom, CSU Extension Agent
Rio Blanco County
bekstrom@coop.ext.colostate.edu

There are a lot of questions concerning correct rates and time of fertilizer application on irrigated mountain meadows. Unfertilized fields in Rio Blanco County will yield about 1.3 to 2 tons of hay per acre while fertilized fields will produce 3 to 5 tons per acre. Improved grass species like Timothy, Orchard and Brome have the ability to produce over 2 tons only with additional fertilizer. Locally the two most important fertilizers are nitrogen and phosphorus. Insufficient amounts of either nutrient will limit your production.
Fertilizer applications attempt to bring nutrients into balance. Information based on past production and soil test results can aid in developing a fertilization program. This article is an attempt to help you in developing production goals.
Soil testing information and equipment are available from the Cooperative Extension Office. If you have questions, please call (970) 878-4093 in Meeker or (970) 675-2417 in Rangely.

NITROGEN FERTILIZER GENERALITIES

**Don't waste money fertilizing drought, poorly drained, poorly irrigated, or weedy fields. **Application of nitrogen may or may not increase protein levels in hay. Some studies indicate a protein increase is possible when high rates of nitrogen are used. Consider potential benefits against cost.

FERTILIZER RATE AND PROTEIN CONTENT

Protein Percentage
N Rate/Acre Fall Spring
0 7.2 7.2
50 8.8 8.8
100 9.1 9.0
150 9.0 11.0


  • Early spring application, no later than May 15th, is usually more effective than fall, except in stands predominantly composed of Smooth Brome. Smooth Brome and Blue Grass develop more reproductive heads when fall fertilized. This results in an increased yield.Meadows with high populations of brome and bluegrass should be fertilized in the fall.
  • Early spring application, prior to May 15th, is preferred for meadows composed of Timothy, Orchard, Meadow Foxtail, and Wheat grass. Early spring fertilization triggers these varieties to develop seed heads, which will increase production.

NITROGEN EFFECTS NUMBER AND TYPE OF SHOOT DEVELOPMENT

  • One ton of additional hay production takes about 100 pounds of nitrogen, 34 pounds are removed in hay and 66 pounds are utilized through grazing, natural loss, run off and non-harvested plant parts.
  • With a single late cutting the most economical responses are with an application of 60 to 100 pounds of nitrogen per acre.
  • Split your application in a two cutting system, 2/3 applied in early spring and 1/3 applied after first cutting.
  • A pound of N is a pound of N, regardless of the carrier (Urea or Ammonium Nitrate) or if it is a liquid or solid. Liquids may become tied-up in surface organic matter residue and not available. Both products may burn green foliage depending on temperature and application rates. Cost should be the primary factor in selecting nitrogen or phosphorus sources.
  • Liquids and solids are subject to loss from volatilization from high heat, so apply during cool temperatures.
  • Because grass plants accumulate nitrogen very fast and trans-locate it throughout the plant, avoid grazing livestock on fertilized fields. Fertilize no earlier than 3-5 days prior to livestock removal. Hay yield and grazing studies at Spur Ranch on Piceance Creek illustrated fertilizer application should be delayed until after spring grazing.
OLD LAND GRAZING AND NITROGEN FERTILIZATION TIMING TEST PLOTS
Timing Ave. Yield/Acre
Fall/March 6684
May 1st 7017
June 1st 7214


**Applications over 60 pounds of nitrogen will retard clover and legume populations. A study in Yampa applied 80 pounds of nitrogen and reduced the clover population from 15% to almost 0%.

FERTILIZATION EXAMPLE:
A meadow is 90% Smooth Brome (no spring graze). Preferred choice: Apply nitrogen and phosphates next fall as late as possible, on cold dry soils and non-frozen ground. Base rates according to yield goals. Second choice: Spring application, early as possible, prior to May 15th.

FERTILIZATION EXAMPLE:
A meadow is 50% Smooth Brome, 30% Timothy and 20% Orchard (spring graze). Preferred choice: Delay application until after livestock leave. Base rates on yield goals. Apply phosphates next fall.

FERTILIZATION EXAMPLE:
Same meadow as above (no spring grazing). Preferred choice: Spring application, early as possible, prior to May 15th. Base rates on yield goals. Apply phosphates next fall.

FERTILIZATION EXAMPLE:
A meadow is 30% Smooth Brome, 30% Timothy, 20% Orchard and 20% legumes (spring graze). Preferred choice: Delay application until after livestock leave. Apply no more than 60 pounds of Nitrogen and base phosphate application on yield goals. Apply phosphates next fall.

PHOSPHORUS FERTILIZER GENERALITIES

**Phosphate fertilizers are slow to incorporate; therefore fall-applied phosphate is preferred. Small amounts (25% to 30%) of spring applications may become available, the majority will be useable the following year.

TOP DRESSING PHOSPHORUS ON MIXED GRASS FORAGE IN FALL IS SUPERIOR TO SPRING

Rate Fall Spring
lbs/Acre Tons/Acre (12% moisture)
0 1.8 1.8
40 4.4 2.4
80 4.1 2.9
120 5.0 2.9

*Source: Ludwick and Rumburg, 1976.

**Phosphorus fertilization can increase protein in hay and stimulate legume growth. Fertilization could increase yield and quality.

**Acceptable soil phosphate level to support legumes is 12-14 parts per million and grass is 9-10 ppm. Levels below this will inhibit production. Usually 30-40 pounds of phosphate applied annually is adequate for 3 to 4 tons of production.

**An interest savings could be gained by delaying spring phosphate applications until fall. An additional price discount is often available on fall fertilizers, but there would be an application cost.

TIMING OF HARVEST

Mountain meadows play a major role in livestock production providing the key to your winter feeding program. Harvesting your forage at the optimum time is very critical to your yearly feed costs. By harvesting each field to fit the maturity of grass species you can reduce protein or energy supplements next winter. The following chart highlights the optimum time to harvest for yield. By comparing it to the second chart you can see that optimum yield is not optimum protein. Assuming a cow needs over 8% protein next winter you will need to harvest a Brome stand prior to August 1st or prepare to supplement with protein.

TOTAL SEASONAL FORAGE YIELD AS A FUNCTION OF DATE OF FIRST CUTTING FOR THREE SPECIES, 1972
Date of first cutting
Species June 20 July 5 July 18 August 1 August 15
------------------------------------------(Tons per acre)------------------------------------------
Garrison Foxtail 3.1 3.3 3.5 2.7 2.9
Lincoln Brome 2.6 3.2 3.2 3.1 3.5
Oahe (intermediate)
Wheatgrass 2.4 2.6 3.1 3.3 4.1


TOTAL SEASONAL YIELD OF PROTEIN IN FORAGE AS A FUNCTION OF DATE OF FIRST HARVEST
Species June 20 June 26 July 5 July 18 Aug 1
-----------------------------(Pounds of nitrogen per acre)-----------------------------
Garrison Foxtail 12.4 0 10.6 9.8 9.5 6.8
Lincoln Brome 12.4 0 10.0 9.2 8.0 6.2
Oahe Wheatgrass 12.2 0 9.9 8.4 7.6 5.6
Timothy 9.0 8.1 7.8 6.5 6.0 5.0
IMPORTANCE OF QUALITY FEED

The following example illustrates the effect of lower feed quality on hay consumption and rate of gain for heifers. A total of 24 pounds of forage was available to a group of heifers but consumption was limited (20.9 or 18.9 pounds) due to inefficient digestion. Notice the rate of gain for each group.
HEIFER FORAGE INTAKE 

20.9
lbs

1.2 lbs 
gain

18.9
lbs

13% Protein 8%

Feeding quality forage could reduce your feed bill by reducing the amount of hay needed. The following chart reflects the savings incurred by feeding higher quality forage.

COW FORAGE INTAKE
Gain = .75 lbs/day

17.5 lbs

18.3 lbs

13% Protein 8%

COST SAVINGS: 120 lbs. Of Hay for 4 months at $75/ton = $4.50 savings per head.

PROTEIN LEVELS ON COW PRODUCTIVITY
Protein Level Low High
Pre-Calving % 3.1 11.9
Post-Calving % 7.8 13.2
Weight loss Pre-calf -121 -8
Milk Pro lb/day 10.9 14.
WW (163 days) 308 341
Cows showing estrus 51 87
Cows Pregnant 53 87

FERTILIZATION GOAL EVALUATION

Efficient fertilization is essential for economical production. In order to develop an effective fertilization program, simply fill out the step-by-step form and bring it to the Cooperative Extension office for analysis.

STEP 1: Identify field use Location

A: Expected grazing management.
Fall Yes_______ No_______ Date Leaving
Spring Yes_______ No_______ Date Leaving
Summer Yes_______ No_______ Date Leaving

B: Expected hay use.
Cows ________________ Maintenance
Heifer ________________ Gestation First 1/3
Sheep ________________ Gestation Mid 1/3
________________ Gestation Last 1/3

STEP 2: What plants are produced?
GRASSES PERCENTAGE
Smooth Brome ________________
Timothy ________________
Orchard ________________
Wheatgrass ________________
Reed Canary ________________
Meadow Foxtail ________________
Other ________________

LEGUMES
Clover ________________
Alfalfa ________________
Other ________________

OTHER ________________
Sedges ________________
Weeds ________________


STEP 3: List recent fertilizer analysis.
Nitrogen ________________ PPM Available
Phosphorus ________________ PPM Available

STEP 5: Yield Goal________________ Tons/Acre

Colorado State University. U.S. Department of Agriculture and Colorado counties cooperating. Cooperative Extension programs are available to all without discrimination.


AN INTRODUCTION TO SELECTED COLORADO FENCE LAWS

The success of a livestock operation is dependent upon the satisfactory control of animals through the use of fences and gates, making it necessary for landowners to consistently construct or maintain fences. The laws that regulate the construction, maintenance, or removal of fences in Colorado are documented in the Colorado Revised Statutes. This article is an effort to introduce some of those statutes in a way to help clarify them to landowners. 
The article is a summation of selected Colorado Statutes pertaining to Agriculture fences. Before relying on the material in this article, you should read and understand the entire statutes. 
The following explanation of terms and selected statutes are explained in an effort to simplify perceptions and possible misunderstandings among landowners.

"Lawful fence" is defined as a well constructed three strand barbed wire fence with substantial posts set at a distance of approximately twenty feet apart, and sufficient to turn ordinary horses and cattle, with all gates equally as good as the fence, or any other fence of like efficiency.

"Livestock" defined includes horses, cattle, mules, donkey, goats, sheep, swine, buffalo, and cattalo.

STATUTE #35-46-112
CONSTRUCTION OF PARTICIPATION FENCES
Where the agricultural land of two or more persons adjoin, it is the duty of each owner to build or maintain in repair one-half of the line fence, such fence to be a lawful fence, except as otherwise agreed by owners.


STATUTE #35-46-113 
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR COST AND REPAIR
If after thirty days written notice (certified letter), served personally or by registered mail by either owner or tenant of another, if such owner neglects or refuses to erect or repair one-half of the partition fence, the person giving notice then may undertake repairs and may collect by a civil action one-half of the cost. Refers only to a "Lawful fence".

CAUTION: There is a very specific order and procedure involved to be in compliance with this statute. Do not begin any construction before those procedures are complied with or you may have problems in collection of expenses.


STATUTE #35-46-102 
OWNER OF PROPERTY MAY RECOVER FOR TRESPASS
Any person who has a "Lawful Fence" in good repair, may recover damages for trespass and crop injury resulting from "livestock" which break through such fence.

But under this section, the owner of livestock released upon lands where he has a right to do so, will not be held responsible for the wanderings of livestock onto property that is not properly fenced. The policy of law is to favor livestock owner and permit them to range their livestock at large: the duty of protection crops is placed upon the farmer.

A willful trespasser who knowingly herds or drives his stock upon another's premises, cannot invoke this section in defense of an action of trespass. Nor can the fact that cattle strayed into the neighbor's field night after night be used when cattle owners deliberately take possession of lands.

In review of the statutes associated with fence laws, it would seem that it is easier to work with neighbors in a joint effort to control the movement of livestock. If your neighbors do not desire to cooperate, it is strongly recommended that you obtain a complete and updated version of the statutes and understand those statutes or contact an attorney prior to the construction or repair of any fence.



REMEMBER: A GOOD NEIGHBOR IS WORTH KEEPING.

This article was prepared in an effort to introduce and help clarify the perception landowners in Rio Blanco County have concerning some of the agricultural related Colorado Fence Laws. The information contained in the article was taken form the 1987 Colorado Revised Statutes. A detailed copy may be obtained through the Rio Blanco Courthouse or the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Office in Rio Blanco County.

Prepared by Bill Ekstrom
CSU Extension Agent for Rio Blanco County
bekstrom@coop.ext.colostate.edu
Subpages (2): 4-H Rio Blanco County Fair