MILWAUKEE (AP) – The recent unrelenting storms caused widespread crop damage in Wisconsin and kept farmers out of their fields, according to federal agriculture officials.
Twenty-one percent of the state’s corn crop is in fair or poor condition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported, and there were less than two days that were suitable for field work across Wisconsin last week.
But with a late start to planting adding to the weather problems, many corn farmers likely won’t have crops that meet the old adage “knee high by the Fourth of July.”
“Crop progress is slow, with some of the first planted corn finally catching up and showing some good growth. This has been a tough spring,” a Rusk County crops observer noted in the report, according to the Journal Sentinel.
Strong wind and hail accompanying the storms damaged crops in Grant, Green and Dane counties, but the biggest culprit was the persistent downpours.
“Soil erosion, ponding and flooding were reported statewide, stressing or outright drowning some fields,” the report said.
University of Wisconsin Extension agent Kevin Jarek told the newspaper that the situation in Outagamie County is serious to very serious, depending on the location. In St. Croix County, observers say some crops drowned in 8 inches of rain last week.