Crop ET Weekly Report

The ETgage reading south of Geneva dropped 2.4 inches for the week of July 15 – July 27th. Corn and soybeans in our area has a coefficient of 1.1 inches so it used 2.64 inches or .38 inches per day!  We received almost .20 inches of rain and unfortunately as I write this, there is no decent chance of precipitation in sight. One interesting fact I came across from The New York Times showed that more than half of the country was under moderate to extreme drought in June, the largest area of the contiguous United States affected by such dryness in nearly 60 years. Nearly 1,300 counties across 29 states have been declared federal disaster areas.

Drought Resources

With drought conditions extending through most of Nebraska, UNL Extension has created a new website with resources for agricultural producers, homeowners and all seeking information for coping with this emerging issue. To access these materials, go to UNL Extension’s Drought Site.

North Central Nebraska Fires

Along with drought comes concern for fires, as witness by the Fairfield Creek Fire in the Niobrara river valley in north central Nebraska. Once of my Extension colleagues, Dennis Bauer shared the following article which depicts some of the many challenges ahead for producers in that area.

North Central Nebraska livestock producers have been hit with a one -two punch, drought and now fire.  The extremely dry conditions, coupled with the fire which has burned tens of thousands of acres of pasture land, and that continues to burn, has turned this into a disaster of major proportions.

The fire has consumed hundreds of miles of permanent fence, along with what little summer grass was left for several thousand cows and calves to feed on.  The fences that have been destroyed will have to be rebuilt before grazing can resume next year, if weather conditions permit a good growing season.

The North Central Development Center in Ainsworth has set up a fund to take monetary donations to help with the cost of the fire.  Donations may be made on line through PayPal.

Donations of wire and post may be delivered to the Farmers and Ranchers Coop in Ainsworth Ne., 224 South Main St.  Contact is Rocky Sheehan, Plant Manager, phone – 402-387-2810.

Individuals who wish to specify their donations to help with fencing materials and hay may send checks to the University of Nebraska Extension office in Ainsworth. The mailing address is BKR Extension office, 148 West 4th Street, Ainsworth, NE. 69210.  Donations will be deposited into the NCDC Fire Relief Fund.

100% of the funds collected will go to help those who have been affected by the fire.  All needs will be taken from the fund, whether it is fencing, hay, feed for animals, personal needs of those impacted by the fire and help for other fire departments that have responded to our distress.

For more information please contact the UNL extension office in Ainsworth 1-800-634-8951 or e-mail  The NCDC can also be contacted at 402-387-2740 for more information.

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