Two years ago the Town of Rocky Mount would not allow us to water any outdoor plants (hanging or otherwise) and began to truck in drinking water. The level at our two lakes was extremely low, boats had to look up to see the docks. Worst case scenario of course was gazing out over the fields upon the Franklin County Farms. This area is predominantly dairy farms, and they got the short end of the stick!
|Franklin & Bedford Counties are Dairy Country|
|Drought affects all of us|
- Learn more about CoCoRahs here
- Visit the website for the US Drought Monitor here
- Visit the website for NIDIS US Drought Portal here
COWS GIVING POWDERED MILK?
An obvious one is the area of Agriculture. The lack of precipitation can result in many effects which are associated with agriculture, farming, aquaculture, horticulture, forestry and ranching.
Examples of drought-induced agricultural impacts include: damage to crop quality; income loss for farmers due to reduced crop yields; reduced productivity of cropland; insect infestation; plant disease; increased irrigation costs; cost of new or supplemental water resource development (wells, dams, pipelines); reduced productivity of rangeland; forced reduction of foundation stock; closure/limitation of public lands to grazing; and high cost/unavailability of water for livestock, Christmas tree farms, forestry, raising domesticated horses, bees, fish/shellfish and horticulture.
IS BROWN THE NEW GREEN?
Business and Industry
An often overlooked area affected by drought is Business & Industry. The lack of precipitation can result in drought effects affecting non-ag businesses, lawn care businesses, sales of recreational vehicles/other recreational gear or plant nurseries.
Examples of drought-induced business impacts could include: reduction/loss of employees, change in sales/business, variation in number of calls for service, early closure/late opening for the season, bankruptcy, permanent store closure and economic impacts.
READING BY CANDLELIGHT LATELY?
Another area impacted by drought is Energy. The lack of precipitation can result in effects which are associated with power production, electricity rates, energy revenue, and purchase of alternate sources of energy. (Shellie - Yes! Our energy is hydro-power from the Smith Mountain Lake dam).
Examples of drought-induced energy impacts include: hydropower and non-hydropower production when affected by drought, electricity rates, revenue shortfalls and/or windfall profits and the purchase of electricity when hydropower generation is down.
"...SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES"
Another obvious impact area is Fire. The lack of precipitation can result in effects contributing to forest, range, rural, or urban fires, fire danger, and burning restrictions.
Examples of fire impacts include: Enactment/easing of burning restrictions, fireworks ban, increased fire risk, occurrence of fire (# of acres burned, # of wildfires compared to average, people displaced, etc.), increase in fire fighting personnel, state of emergency during periods of high fire danger and the closure of roads land due to fire occurrence or risk.
BIRDS FLYING NORTH THIS WINTER?
Plants and Wildlife
Another area were we can feel the impacts of drought are those associated with plants and wildlife. These effects are associated with unmanaged plants and wildlife, fisheries, forests and other fauna.
Examples of drought-induced environment impacts include: loss of biodiversity of plants or wildlife; loss of trees from rural or urban landscapes, shelterbelts, wooded conservation areas; reduction and degradation of fish and wildlife habitat; lack of feed and drinking water; greater mortality due to increased contact with agricultural producers, as animals seek food from farms and producers are less tolerant of the intrusion; disease; increased vulnerability to predation (from species concentrated near water); migration and concentration (loss of wildlife in some areas and too many wildlife in other areas); increased stress to endangered species; and salinity levels affecting wildlife, wildlife encroaching into urban areas, loss of wetlands.
BOATING ACTIVITY HIT BOTTOM?
Tourism and Recreation
Another area where we notice the impacts of drought is tourism and recreational activities.
Examples of drought-induced tourism and recreation impacts include: water access or navigation problems for recreation; bans on recreational activities; reduced license, permit, or ticket sales (e.g. hunting, fishing, ski lifts, etc.); losses related to curtailed activities (e.g. bird watching, hunting and fishing, boating, etc.); reduced park visitation; delayed opening for ski resorts; increase in artificial snow generation; and cancellation or postponement of sporting events/tournaments.
...read the rest of this article here on the CoCoRahs website.
IF ANY OF THIS INFORMATION INTERESTS YOU AND YOU FEEL A NUDGE TO GET INVOLVED, YOU ARE IN LUCK!
The next BRFAL Chapter Basic Training for Aspiring Virginia Master Naturalists is coming up in March at The Franklin Center in Downtown Rocky Mount VA! You can get the Draft Schedule of Classes and View the Itinerary here, and get the Information Letter and Application here. If you have any questions about this upcoming basic training please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more about the Virginia Master Naturalist Program here. We hope to see you at the next training!