Suffering under drought

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The past three months have been dry as a bone and while I hear that most farmers are harvesting decent-sized crops this fall, the combination of a lack of rain and hot temperatures has taken their toll.

It’s a disappointing end to what had been until late July quite a good growing season. Corn crops planted early fared OK but soybeans that mature later in the summer were nipped by the lack of rain and worst hit perhaps are hayfields and pastures. Both have withered to the point that once-green fields are khaki.  

Many cattle farmers whose pastures have quit growing are already feeding hay and unless significant rain falls soon, they’ll be feeding hay until next spring. That makes for a mighty long winter. Other areas have received spotty rain but most of our area remains parched.

The state has labeled our county as being in a moderate drought and apparently areas of southeast Indiana are even drier.  

One farmer, commenting on how dry his fields are, said he saw a rabbit running down a freshly combined field. “Even the rabbit was kicking up a trail of dust,” he said.

A Web site that details the drought and has a color-coded map of Hoosier counties can be found at www.drought.unl.edu/dm/DM_state.htm?IN,MW.

The drought has brought an added risk of fire and county commissioners wisely placed the county under an open-burning ban.
As of last week, I had not heard of any major wildfires but with dry weather lingering, any cigarette butt thrown out of a window or well-meaning campfire could lead to big problems.

Fire chiefs remind everyone not to take chances. Don’t burn.

Veterans Tribute

A belated thank you to Pat Jarboe for dropping by a copy of a video project that partnered Cannelton Elementary students with World War II veterans. The video documented the veteran’s experiences and interviewed other students about what the Pledge of Allegiance means to them. A copy of this video will be donated to the Perry County Museum for all to watch. Pat’s son, Ian, helped with the editing.

With the popularity of social media such as Facebook and the relative low cost of high-quality video cameras, it’s never been easier to preserve the memories of others. Pat’s work is a good example. If you have a family member, neighbor or friend whose life experiences you consider interesting, why not do something similar? The project need not be fancy.

What’s important is preserving history.