We’re just starting hurricane season here in eastern N.C. and already we have had two named storms. While they have not been as serious, and caused as much damage as storms in the past, they have brought a lot of rain that has pounded us here in Sampson. While the rain is great for growing crops and pastures, it can potentially bring serious issues with rising levels in hog lagoons.
With the potential for a lot of storms and rain hitting us here in Sampson, farmers need to remain diligent in checking the water levels in their lagoons and making sure they are irrigating at the proper times. A few tips to remember are: you should not irrigate while it is raining or the ground is so wet that it cannot take up the water you apply, also don’t just pump because your lagoon is high, runoff can occur if you run your irrigation equipment too long just to get your lagoon down. If your lagoon does enter the “red zone” or rather your freeboard, you can contact Cooperative Extension for information on how to properly draw it down, and the paper work to fill out to avoid fines from the Division of Water Quality.
Try to keep your lagoon levels as close to stop pump as possible to ensure that you have room for rain that a hurricane or tropical storm can bring in. Also, remember that once a hurricane or tropical storm warning or even a flood warning has been issued in your county, you must cease irrigation within four hours of that warning. Keep a check on the weather forecast to know when warnings associated with a hurricane or tropical storm have been issued. For more information on rules and regulations regarding irrigation and hurricanes please contact the Extension Office.
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