Goodhue County issues burning banRivertowns Area News
-- As a result of a long period of dry weather and windy conditions, the Goodhue County sheriff has imposed a county-wide burning restriction effective immediately.
By: Reagan Carstensen - Red Wing Republican-Eagle, Pierce County Herald
RED WING - As a result of a long period of dry weather and windy conditions, the Goodhue County sheriff has imposed a county-wide burning restriction effective immediately.
The activation of permits and the issuance of any new burning permits are prohibited. Recreational fires within a 3-foot diameter barrier are still allowed.
The restriction remains in effect until the sheriff issues an order of removal.
Thirsty crops certainly didn’t get the amount of moisture they’re used to this time of year: Less than 1 inch of rain fell in the area last month.
This September, Red Wing saw only .71 inches of precipitation, spread out over seven days. That measurement is drowned by the same month’s stats from 2010 — more than 7 ½ inches of rainfall — making September 2011 one of the driest on record.
“It’s kind of a good/bad news story,” said Greg Andrews, University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Pierce County agriculture agent.
The bad news is that corn and soybean fields may not have gotten the water they needed to reach peak production, leaving them stressed early last month. However, with the growing season coming to an end, farmers are taking notice of the good news side of things.
“(The crop will) naturally dry down and they don’t have to dry it down in their driers as much,” Red Wing Grain manager Jim Larson said.
Still, what’s turned into a bit of a positive could quickly become negative again if the dry weather results in much lower yields.
“It’s just a little bit too early probably to know the true effect here,” Larson noted. “How much yield they get per acre is the big thing that hopefully some of them will be quantifying now in the next week.”
“The anticipated yield of corn and soybeans maybe took a small hit,” Andrews guessed.
Also contributing to the not-so-ideal growing season this year was a frost that showed up on Sept. 15, earlier than the average frost date, Andrews said.
“While that did not end the growing season everywhere, there was frost and freeze damage, that added somewhat to the burden of a very, very dry September,” he explained.
Although corn and soybeans are a couple of the most prominent crops in Pierce and Goodhue counties, Andrews is worried the nearly waterless September will negatively influence other plants as well.
“One of the stressors of this dry period that we’re a little concerned about … is perennial crops like alfalfa,” Andrews noted. “We’d like to see some rainfall occur.”