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Corn on the edge

July 12, 2012
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville Daily News

Corn likes heat and plenty of moisture, but take away the moisture and you're going to have trouble.

That's what's worrying area farmers as the drought that's covering over half the state moves into Emmet County.

"We're starting to see some stress in the crops now," said Alan Madden of Madden Pioneer in Ringsted. Since he also sells crop insurance, Madden is generally one of the first to hear when things are going bad with the crop.

Article Photos

While area corn crops still look good, a heavy dose of rain would go a long ways to helping this year’s yields.
EDN photo by Michael Tidemann

With temperatures edging off from their blistering highs of last week, crop stress hasn't been what it has in other areas - yet.

"It's been key that it hasn't been so hot," said Madden.

Those with lighter soils have been hard hit though. But, said Madden, "Better soils are hanging in there quite well."

Madden said corn uses a quarter inch of moisture from the soil a day. That draws down subsoil moisture quite rapidly. Madden figures though if there's a rain in the next couple days that should help quite a bit.

Meanwhile, with news of forest and grassland fires a constant reminder of how dry it is in the West, unless some respite comes from the dry weather, we could see a simular situation fall.

Jarrod Fischer, Wallingford fire chief, said while there's no immediate concerns there could be at harvest time.

"It might be an issue then," Fisher said.

Fischer reminds farmers doing controlled burns that they need to contact the Emmet County Law Center and their local fire departments to let them know of their plans.

"An unattended fire, we will come and put it out," said Fischer who urges people planning controlled burns to call him at 867-4585.

Fischer also reminds people that if they should start a controlled burn and burn up utility poles or someone else's property, they could be liable for damages.



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