STATEWIDE — The Colorado Department of Agriculture reminds those using a closed irrigation system to apply agricultural chemicals, including fertilizer, that they must obtain a chemigation permit. The deadline for renewals is March 31, 2018. This program strives to protect one of our most important resources—water and chemigation permits are an important tool in that effort.
“The Colorado Department of Agriculture issues approximately 4,300 chemigation permits annually statewide,” said Don Gallegos, CDA’s Chemigation Coordinator. “I encourage people to call if they need to renew their license or are trying to decide if they need a permit. We are available to answer all questions and help producers through the process.”
The chemigation program, which is part of the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Services Division, grants permits and inspects closed irrigation systems (such as center pivot irrigation) to protect aquifers and surface water from possible contamination by agricultural chemicals applied through the closed irrigation systems.
A closed irrigation system includes any device or combination of devices having a hose, pipe, or other conduit, which connects directly to any source of groundwater or surface water, through which water or a mixture of water and chemicals is drawn and applied for agricultural or horticultural purposes.
Those using a closed irrigation system to apply agricultural chemicals, including fertilizer, must obtain a chemigation permit, which costs $35 per system. After March 31, 2018, the late fee and permit will cost $70 per system. Those applying for a first-time permit can apply throughout the year. A fine up to $1,000 per occurrence may be levied for those using this process without a chemigation permit.
To obtain a chemigation permit, call Don Gallegos, Chemigation Coordinator at (303) 869-9038. For more on CDA’s chemigation program, visit www.colorado.gov/agconservation/chemigation.