Farm News - Planting
Farmers are busy plowing their fields and planting the seed that will yield this year's grain and vegetable crops. The state department of agriculture tells the GAZETTE that 41% of planting has been completed statewide. Farmers in the north end of the state are behind the average because of wet and cool conditions there. The south portion of the state is generally dry and warmer. South farmers are ahead of the average.
Dairy farmers surveyed across the state seem pleased over recent prices for milk and cheese. Knotty Pine area dairymen are planning to increase their herds or hold herds' sizes steady.
None of the local fruit growers in the tri-county area are planting new trees, except to replace old or damaged trees.
Blue Mountain - Digging
Work has begun on the long-anticipated Blue Mountain Tunnel. A railroad track was laid from the main spur east of Knotty Pine to the north side of Blue Mountain. Workers for Big Rock Mining Co. have blasted a entry hole roughly 10 feet into the face of the mountain. The company's tunnel boring machine (TBM) "Big Alice" is expected to begin boring inside the blast hole this week. Big Alice arrived at Blue Mountain by train weeks ago. The TBM came in sections that had to be bolted together for boring. Big Rock president Sam Flemming tells the GAZETTE that Alice's assembly is now complete and she is ready to start digging this week.