A lack of rainfall in Portage County is creating challenges for farmers and city residents alike. Stevens Point has only received 1.3 inches of rain so far this month, only half of what it normally sees. While crops and trees across the county still appear green, farmers are having to take extra steps to keep them growing.
Many farmers in the county have resorted to using irrigation systems. While they work well, they can be very expensive. Installation can run up to $50,000 and monthly upkeep and water costs can be upwards of $4,000. However, it's a financial burden many farmers are willing to take up in order to ensure their crops will be safe.
"Irrigation is not cheap to put in. It is quite the investment cost. It takes quite a few year payover to make it worthwhile." says farmer Mike Biadisz.
Meanwhile, in the City of Stevens Point, local officials are working to make sure trees planted along residential streets don't die as a result of the lack of precipitation. They have crews out watering throughout the day, and are even encouraging residents to water smaller trees in front of their homes.
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