Farmers say rain was much-needed after early April’s drought-like conditions
BANCROFT, Wis. (WSAW) - Rain is adding much-needed moisture to farmer’s soil ahead of planting season in north central Wisconsin.
In late March and early April, drought-like conditions were threatening farmer’s schedules. Before April 6, no rain was recorded in the month. Dave Dulske, owner of Cee Dee Acres Market in Bancroft, said the soil was dry and felt like powder.
“Pull through with a disk in the field and you weren’t picking up any moisture whatsoever. You’d go down 6 inches and there was just no moisture,” Dulske said.
While many crops don’t go into the ground until May, the worry was starting to kick in for Dulske. Then the rain started to fall. His soil is sandy, which has difficulty holding moisture. At the beginning of pea season, it came at the right time.
“I got peas I put in last week on Tuesday. If we didn’t have the rain, I would be thinking about putting irrigation on there because they just wouldn’t have grown,” Dulske said.
Since April 6, the Stevens Point area has received nearly 1.5 inches of rain. Heather Schlesser, an expert with UW-Extension in Marathon county added that moisture is especially important for sandy soils like Dulske’s.
“They just do not have the capacity to hold that moisture in there,” she said, “It’s making sure that you have water in there at the right time”
On Dulske’s farm, the soil is moist and looking good for now. He says barring a few 80 degree days, he should be set for sweet corn season in a few weeks. He also added that he doesn’t want to get his hopes up too much because every season has its own set of challenges, but this year’s outlook is good so far.
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