9/28 we had a wildfire consume nearly 450 acres of pasture and farm land...there is going to be litigation because the fire was proven to be caused by negligence...my question to all the experienced hands out there is how do you put a value on stubble with a covercrop in it, erosion after the fact, and any effects on fertility due to erosion..I do know that fire can be a good thing as long as it doesnt get to hot...but my concern is mainly the erosion problem...already have drifts in the ditches...there will obviously be no snow catch and in my neck of the woods that is critical in filling up the tank. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
I doubt what you are saying RCR. Elemental Phos. will burn in the presence of oxygen, that is why chem. labs store it in oil. Phos in the soil is bound to soil particles and quite resistant to burning. What burned was surface vegetation. Burns on prairies have happened for millions of years. It's one of the ways grasses have been able to keep ahead of invading scrub brush.
I don't know how you put a price on potential erosion and it may not be good for agriculture if one is established. It would seem the best way to reduce erosion and aid snow retention would be to chisel plow some strips perpendicular to the prevailing wind directions on a contour to slow water run off. If there is a culpable negligent person I would think he would be responsible for the cost of establishing these remediation attempts. R7
Not sure damages will be awarded, unless the fire was "intentional" without intent could be just an "act of god" (winds). If Buildings were destroyed they would be covered by your insurance, or absent that the negligent party would be liable. It might be important to find out if a "burning ban" was in effect. It that case you might have a cause of action. But WTF Do I know.
The way I see it, we have switchgrass burning here in the rural backwater and from time to time the fire will escape onto adjoining farms and I have never heard of anyone receiving damages, other than, if fence posts were burned off, they get replaced at burning parties expense.
I think the only winners here will be the lawyers, might just want to get real and suck it up. Otherwise if you believe legal action is the only way out, I would contact Db and get a 5 gallon can of superlube you will need it.
I find it interesting that someone believes "fire" destroys nutrients, I remember when I was a kid we burned our wheat fields, and I think that practice is still followed for rice and wheat in the South. You know what they say . . ." one lawyer in a town will starve to death, add one more lawyer and the both florish." Good Luck. John
Erosion is tough to prove and set a value on. We had a problem a few years ago. We got the value of the crop after the lawyers and expenses took 1/2. You might check with the state university. You will have to have them come and testify too.
I suppose a letter from them might work.
Around here we just suck it up and move on if there is a fire, unless it was set with the intent to cause damage. Even then it is usually set by some one who is judgement proof so there is no point in bothering with it.
Well the farm ground wasnt the only thing burned up...there was 225 acres of fall pasture that we had to race the pairs off of that had 2 months of grazing left...its one of our pastures in low ground that does well in drought years...along with losing that there were about 6 miles of cross fencing that is in need of replacing(all half ties for posts)..this individual (according to Sheriffs report) knew the bales on his trailer were on fire but thought he could make it to the fire department...along the way he started 4 fires and finally stopped next to our property after someone made him stop....if thats not negligence I dont know what is but we may very well have to eat all the expenses.
One of the fires two years ago resulted in some insurance company paying for "some' of the damage resulting from the
fire on crop land. I honestly do NOT know the numbers, but according to another neighbor, it was substantial. I could NOT
see the difference in milo following the fire(before the milo was established, continued blowing of dust/erosion)...this year
was back in soybeans, and a drought year..but I could SEE from the top of a tank battery the line which we did get the fire
stopped...the unburned area was visibly better vegetative and growth wise...what came into the bin, we haven't talked