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PLEASANT VIEW— With his hands stuffed deep into his pockets, Landan Wilson looks down at the ground and scuffs his boot back and forth against the loose blades of alfalfa hay scattered on the dirt.
It’s early March, and Wilson is standing inside a massive storage shed on his family’s farm a few miles west of Pleasant View, in an often-forgotten corner of southwestern Colorado. Normally this time of year, this shed, and another just like it, are both full of hay bales the Wilsons will sell to dairy operations in New Mexico and Texas. This year, the sheds are empty.
In 2021, the persistent drought that scientists believe is the driest 22-year stretch in the past 1,200 years hit this part of the state harder than just about anywhere else. Farmers and…
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