Farmers are being urged to take special precautions if Irene flooded their fields.
Jeff Senesac sold off his dairy herd in 2003 and converted his barn to board horses. There is still a lot of land, so he grows corn and soybeans to supplement his income. "Once we got the crops in and they got started growing they came in really well. It was going to be a real good year for beans and corn," he said.
But that was before Irene. "Once Irene came in, the flooding didn't really affect my corn per say, but it really, really hurt my beans. The water had a lot of silt in it, carried a lot of dirt load and I think it deposited it all on my beans," Senesac said.
Senesac is optimistic that he can still harvest a majority of the soybean crop. That's because while the stocks, leaves and the pods are all covered in silt, the beans inside are clean. But like many other farmers hit by flooding, what can be harvested will be messy and potentially dangerous depending on what kind of mold and bacteria are in the soil. "It's going to be awful dusty because when you harvest beans, the whole plant goes into the machine and the machine separates the beans from the pods and the stalks with air and screens, so the amount of dust is going to be tremendous," Senesac said.
That is why the Vermont Health Department is advising farmers to wear a dust mask, N-95 or higher, and nitrile gloves to wear under their work gloves.
"This is voluntary protection. If you have anyone working with you that you think might have a health issue or have trouble breathing, they probably should have a medical evaluation," said Julie Smith, a University of Vermont Extension Dairy Specialist.
UVM Extension has teamed up with the Vt. Health Department to get the word -- and the free masks and gloves -- out to farmers. "Extension was able to work with the Department of Health and get supplies that are now in UVM Extension offices around the state, so folks can stop by there and we are targeting farms that we know have flooded crops and saying hey, we have some materials for you and a fact sheet on how to use the respirator," Smith said.
It is recommended that masks be changed every 4 to 6 hours, or sooner, if it becomes difficult to breath through. The masks are designed to block the dust that could contain molds and bacteria that could be a health risk.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 12:32 AM EDT2013-05-21 04:32:23 GMT
It is a case that terrified the Northeast Kingdom, 78-year-old Pat O'Hagan, murdered more than two years ago. But now - sources tell Channel 3 there are 3 suspects and they are already in jail. O'HaganMore >>
It is a case that terrified the Northeast Kingdom, 78-year-old Pat O'Hagan, murdered more than two years ago. But now - sources tell Channel 3 there are 3 suspects and they are already in jail.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 12:31 AM EDT2013-05-21 04:31:47 GMT
When Burlington High School Spanish teacher Giovanna Yaranga was charged with having sex with one of her students many Burlington High School parents thought the worst, "As a mom it scared me, I send myMore >>
When Burlington High School Spanish teacher Giovanna Yaranga was charged with having sex with one of her students many Burlington High School parents thought the worst.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 10:13 PM EDT2013-05-21 02:13:38 GMT
A guilty plea Monday to one of the men linked to the death of a young man at the St. Albans pool.Chris Davis, 22, was found in the pool in April of last year, about a month after he had been reported missingMore >>
A guilty plea Monday to one of the men linked to the death of a young man at the St. Albans pool.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 8:33 PM EDT2013-05-21 00:33:46 GMT
A Forbes 500 company is coming to Rutland to start a pilot program for community solar leases.Green Mountain Power announced Monday a partnership with NRG Energy -- the largest solar developer in the U.S.More >>
A Forbes 500 company is coming to Rutland to start a pilot program for community solar leases.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 8:31 PM EDT2013-05-21 00:31:56 GMT
The state's new health care exchange opens for business in October, but efforts are underway now to explain how the system will work.Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont Monday opened an information centerMore >>
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont Monday opened an information center in South Burlington to provide information to the nearly 100,000 Vermonters who will be effected by the new federal mandate.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 8:15 PM EDT2013-05-21 00:15:25 GMT
At this Burlington workshop, wood is transformed into functional art. And it's not only the furniture that's unique, but also the person making it.Erin Hanley is going against the grain. She's a womanMore >>
At this Burlington workshop, wood is transformed into functional art. And it's not only the furniture that's unique, but also the person making it.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 8:07 PM EDT2013-05-21 00:07:25 GMT
At the Cedar Circle Farm in East Thetford, hundreds of different fruits, vegetables and plants are for sale."We grow about a 150 different kinds of vegetables -- 50 different kind of tomatoes alone," saidMore >>
Hemp is sold legally in stores throughout the country, but it's illegal to grow it. Vermont is changing that, but there may be some hurdles along the way.More >>