Burning off last year’s corn or wheat stubble before planting this year’s crop is a common practice in the Mississippi River Delta. But it can cause an inconvenient and expensive problem if the flames get out of hand and burn up a wooden utility pole carrying electricity to rural customers.
Entergy Arkansas, Inc. asks farmers to remove stubble around wooden poles before burning.
There are two key consequences to burning poles:
1. It is likely to cause a power outage for the farmer and his neighbors.
2. The farmer will be asked to pay for the repair, and this can cost several thousand dollars per pole.
“We appreciate that burning stubble is a quick and efficient way of preparing the land for planting, and most farmers do take precautions to avoid igniting power poles,” said Brady Aldy, vice president of customer service for Entergy Arkansas. “But some don’t, and it’s a huge problem when a pole is set on fire. And it happens several times every year.”
Entergy Arkansas provides electricity to approximately 700,000 customers in 63 counties. Entergy Arkansas is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation, an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including more than 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, making it one of the nation’s leading nuclear generators. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $10 billion and approximately 15,000 employees.