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It’s wet country! But rain also brings hail PDF Print E-mail

More than seven inches of rain has fallen in

some areas this month

By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican

It’s still a bit premature to say farmers don’t need to worry about dry conditions this year. But right now, rainfall in May has eclipsed 2011 when Imperial recorded 6.88 inches of rain.
According to area reporters for the Nebraska Rainfall Assessment and Information Network (NeRAIN), most areas in Chase County have received more than six inches this month. In the case of some areas in Imperial, the tally stands at 7.11 inches of precip.
Since May 19, Imperial recorders have measured 3.65 inches of rainfall. The Champion area reporter recorded just shy of four inches.
In 2012, only 1.12 inches of rain fell in May and .74 of an inch in June. Last year, 3.41 inches of rain fell in Imperial in May, followed by 7.93 inches in June.
Some hail damage
Until heavy rains accompanied by some hail fell Sunday night, most of the rains have come evenly and soaked into the ground.
But more than an inch of rain came hard Sunday night, leaving damage in its wake.
Some of the worst damage was just south of Champion where some wheat fields will be a total loss.
Mike Bauerle, who lives just east of Enders atop the valley,  said the hail streak came from the southeast, heading northwest. He said it’s rare to have hail come up from the southeast. Normally, it comes from the west.
He has corn planted on a circle just west of Champion.
“It was just getting to where you could look across the field and see green,” he said.
On Monday morning, he said it didn’t even appear any corn was ever planted in the field, noting the hail just sheared it off. In addition, the rain fell hard enough to cover the plants with dirt.
So for now, it’s a waiting game, he said. The growth point is under dirt now so the test will be whether the plants can break back through.
In this area, most of the irrigated corn was planted in between rains. However, a few fields still remain unplanted. Plus, very little of the dryland corn has been planted due to the moisture.
Monday, May 25, was the final planting date for corn to get full crop insurance coverage. The program allows for a 20-day late-planting period but for every day the crop goes unplanted, farmers lose 1 percent of coverage.
The final planting day for crop insurance on soybeans is June 10, which isn’t far off. Plus the forecast through Friday calls for more rain.
One sector of the ag scene benefitting from all the rain is range owners. The pastures are getting as much early rain as they’ve had since 2011.
To track rainfall recorded by the NeRAIN recorders, go to:

Some postal rates going up May 31 PDF Print E-mail

By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican

While the first-class postage rate of 49 cents (for first ounce) is staying the same price, several other United States Postal Service (USPS) rates are rising this Sunday.
May 31 is the official date for the latest postal increases, said Imperial Postmaster Barb Prottsman.
Here are the major changes:
The second ounce of first-class mail, going up from 21 to 22 cents.
First-class postcards, going up from 34 to 35 cents.
Metered first-class letters will increase from 48 to 48.5 cents.
Box fees at the Imperial Post Office will rise as follows:
#1 size (smallest) $48 to $50
#2 size $60 to $68
#3 size $112 to $114
#4 size $204 to $206
If within 30 days of its duedate, Prottsman said people who want to pay their post office box rent early will receive the current rate until Saturday.
Other post office services such as first class package rates, insurance, international priority mail and some fees for certified mail will also be increasing starting this Sunday, she said.
This latest change in rates was originally scheduled for April 26, but was delayed due to corrections mandated by the Postal Regulatory Commission.

Linda Nelson recognized by state respiratory therapists PDF Print E-mail

By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican

Linda Nelson tried to keep it a secret. She was honored that she was recently named Greater Nebraska Respiratory Therapist of the Year, but she didn’t want publicity.
However, Nelson, who is a respiratory therapist at Chase County Community Hospital (CCCH), received the honor at the state meeting of the Nebraska Society of Respiratory Care in Lincoln May 14, and the news was out.
She was nominated and voted upon by her peers, which she considers a privilege.
Hospital CEO Steve Lewis said, “It’s quite an honor for her and our facility. She’s very well respected across the state.”
Nelson works with patients who have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), emphysema, obstructive sleep apnea and asthma.
She began working at CCCH in 1998, then went back to school in 1999 to obtain a teaching degree at the University of Nebraska-Kearney.
At that time she also worked two years full-time and weekends at Good Samaritan Hospital.
Nelson returned to CCCH in 2002.
She loves her patients “Because I get to know them as people and how the diseases impact their lives. They become my friends.”

Third case of highly pathogenic avian influenza found in state PDF Print E-mail

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) in conjunction with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed preliminary testing shows the presence of a third case of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HPAI) in Dixon County.
The third farm (referred to as Dixon 3) is within a mile of the initial farm (referred to as Dixon 1) identified two weeks ago and is owned by the same operator.
Dixon County is in northeast Nebraska.
Dixon 3 is a flock of 500,000 pullets (young hens). Dixon 1 and Dixon 2, announced earlier, collectively have 3.5 million laying hens.
“These farms are in close proximity to each other so this finding, while unfortunate, is not unexpected,” said NDA Director Greg Ibach.
“We continue to receive great support from our federal, state and local partners, as well as from the operator, as we work to control the spread of the virus,” he said.
All three sites are under quarantine, a perimeter has been established around each facility, and the birds are being depopulated.
Under the USDA protocol, NDA is visiting all locations that have poultry within a 6.2 mile radius of Dixon 3 to conduct testing. Due to the proximity of Dixon 3 to the other facilities, the 6.2 mile radius overlaps significantly.
The preliminary positive test at Dixon 3 was expected to be confirmed by officials at a federal laboratory sometime over the holiday weekend, but Ibach said response teams in Dixon County already are working at Dixon 3 to address the HPAI finding.
Gov. Pete Ricketts issued a state emergency declaration to provide NDA and other state agencies with appropriate resources to address the HPAI situation.
The Centers for Disease Control considers the risk to people from HPAI H5 infections to be low. Proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 degrees kills the virus.
Dixon 1 and 2 are egg laying facilities and therefore the chickens are not consumed, and the eggs from these facilities are processed and go through pasteurization, eliminating product consumption risk.
Ibach is asking Nebraska poultry producers, large and small, to follow strict biosecurity measures on their farms and to monitor their flocks for symptoms of the virus and notify NDA immediately if they suspect any problems.
All bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard enthusiasts, should prevent contact between their birds and wild birds, and report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to state/federal officials, either through NDA by calling 1-877-800-4080 or through USDA’s toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593.


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