Lack of rain has crops falling behind in central Wisconsin

Many areas recording less than 3 inches of rain in June in central Wisconsin.
Farmers say crops a bit behind due to lack of rain
Farmers say crops a bit behind due to lack of rain
Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 7:06 PM CDT
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ATHENS, Wis. (WSAW) - The recent rain may not be enough to keep crops growing. The erratic rain patterns have crops in some areas of central Wisconsin falling behind.

June is usually one of the wettest months of the year, but this year, there is a lack of rain.

“It was not a good month for rainfall,” said Chad Franzen, a meteorologist for NewsChannel 7.

Most of the central Wisconsin area averages about 5 inches of rain for the month of June. This year, many areas recorded less than 3 inches of rain for the first month of summer.

“Minus a few areas, especially southwestern Marathon county, north, northwestern Wood County, most of the rainfall in the area for the month of June is about 60 to 70% of what we should have had, in some locations in the north woods, had less than half what the rainfall amount should have been,” said Franzen.

Miltrim Farms in Athens grows haylage for their cows and corn for corn silage.

“This spring there wasn’t a ton of rain but because it was so cold, things couldn’t warm up. Things couldn’t dry out. That really hurt the planting,” said David Trimner, the general manager and co-owner of Miltrim Farms.

The general manager said this year’s crops are a little behind.

“Particularly with that cold start. The corn in the ground, it’s much shorter than it normally could be,” said Trimner.

Miltrim Farms said they’ve even had to do some replanting.

“We had to go back and plant some areas where the corn didn’t survive,” said Trimner.

Trimner said there are some other crops that could use some rain too.

“When it comes to the hay it could definitely use some rain. We’re currently harvesting our second crop and the yield is okay, but it could be better,” said Trimner.

Farmers said they’ve had years where crops would be waist-high by this time on the calendar, but this year, they’re hoping for knee-high by the 4th of July.

“So we are doing okay now, but we could use it, particularly for our hay crops and we also seed cover crops on the corn and that needs a bit of rain to get those to sprout,” said Trimner.

Ideally, Trimner said he’d like to see a good, slow inch or 2 of rain spread out over time.

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