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2003 drought reduces profit potential


Fri, Sep 12th, 2003
Posted in Features

There is a saying among farmers, no matter where they live, that it “always rains around here ten minutes before it is too late”. After abundant rainfall up until mid-July, the 2003 growing season appears to be one when the rains may be even later than that.

The extent of our regional drought and its impact is unknown. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) web site quotes from Drought and Its Causes and Effects, Tannehill, 1947:

“We have no good definition of drought. We may say truthfully that we scarcely know a drought when we see one. We welcome the first clear day after a rainy spell. Rainless days continue for a time and we are pleased to have a long spell of such fine weather. It keeps on and we are a little worried. A few days more and we are really in trouble. The first rainless day in a spell of fine weather contributes as much to the drought as the last, but no one knows how serious it will be until the last dry day is gone and the rains have come again…we are not sure about it until the crops have withered and died.”

The jury is still out on “Drought 2003”and it is too early to draw conclusions about its severity. However, speculation as to the damage done to our major crops is currently a common topic. We know that reduced rainfall, extreme heat and cloudless days have all combined to make growing conditions tough for local crops. A crop with tremendous potential in mid-July has certainly lost a great deal.

Spotty Precipitation

Not every farmer is having the same drought experience. The spotty nature of this season’s rainfall makes general conclusions regarding crop prospects tricky. Jim Nelson, who farms south of Ostrander with his wife, Marilynn, and sons, Jay and Jeff, reported watching a storm pour 1.6 inches of rain on their farmstead while he watched from a short distance away. The same thing happened a few days later. Neighbors within a quarter mile received only a few tenths in the same showers. Jim’s fields appeared to receive far less than the building site.

Judy Johnson, ag lender for Southeast Bank in Harmony, visited with one of her clients who had done preliminary yield checks in corn at his farm south of Harmony. Within a mile on the same farm, corn yields are expected to vary from 80 bushels per acre to 140 bushels per acre.

Farmers are hesitant to .....
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TJ Liquor

County approves 2004 budget

Fri, Sep 12th, 2003
Posted in Features

“Department heads have really sharpened their pencils and come through", praised Policy Coordinator Karen Brown as the county board reviewed new figures submitted from county departments on Tuesday. Brown had informed offices, after last week’s meeti ..... 
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Rushford City Council Report: Rushford generators selected; site approval next step

Fri, Sep 12th, 2003
Posted in Features

Richard Fogal, chairman of the Electric Commission, presented the Commission’s recommendation to accept the Ziegler bid to the Rushford City Council at their meeting September 8. Ziegler’s (Caterpillar) bid was $43,000 less than their previous bid an ..... 
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Harmony City Council Report: City Council approves budget, sets levy

Fri, Sep 12th, 2003
Posted in Features

Harmony City Administrator Jerome Illg presented a preliminary budget proposal, showing an increase in the city’s budget of $89,487. The city council on Tuesday, set the budget at $310,674, up from $221,187 in 2003. The 2004 levy was set at $458,805. ..... 
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Fillmore County District Court

Fri, Sep 12th, 2003
Posted in Features

Felony Charges

•David Ray Merkel, 42, Spring Valley, was charged in Fillmore County District Court on Monday, September 8 with Manufacture of Methamphet-amine, a felony.

It is alleged in the criminal compl ..... 
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Take pride in American literary heritage and see “A Streetcar Named Desire”

Fri, Sep 12th, 2003
Posted in Features

There’s a line in Streetcar Named Desire where high school English teacher Blanch Dubois laments the fact that her students don’t care much about their American literary heritage. And that got me to thinking about how, with the recent surge in patrio ..... 
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Governor Pawlenty requests federal disaster aid for drought stricken counties

Fri, Sep 12th, 2003
Posted in Features

Governor Tim Pawlenty has announced that he will request that approximately 49 Minnesota counties be designated as federal agricultural disaster areas by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture because of severe drought. The Governor’s announcement came du ..... 
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Dayton says he will sponsor disaster relief bill for drought

Fri, Sep 12th, 2003
Posted in Features

Speaking in a teleconference on Wednesday with several media, including the Fillmore County Journal, Minnesota Senator Mark Dayton said that he would sponsor federal disaster aid legislation to provide relief for Minnesota farmers suffering crop loss ..... 
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Coleman cosponsors disaster relief bill for farmers

Fri, Sep 12th, 2003
Posted in Features

MN Senator Says Relief Bill Needed If Conditions Continue and Crop Insurance Falls Short

Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman has joined Senators Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, both Arkansas Democrats, in cosponsoring a disaster rel ..... 
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