Some farmers say official drought declaration doesn’t help | News
GRAFTON — The lack of recent rainfall across the state of Wisconsin has many concerned, and Gov. Scott Walker issued an official drought emergency for the state’s 42 southern counties as of Monday, July 9th. That declaration is supposed to make it easier for farmers to irrigate their fields, but some farmers say they aren’t all that excited about it.
The drought declaration allows farmers to use stream or lake water for irrigation, but some farmers say they lack the proper equipment needed to do so.
Rick Roden says the corn crops in his family’s cornfield should be about waist high this time of year.
“They should be nice and full and lush green,” Roden said.
Roden says most of what they grow is fed to their cows, so the cows haven’t been eating so well lately. They also haven’t been feeling so well.
“Cows start getting stressed at about 75 degrees. We have fans blowing fresh air, misters to water them down, cool them off a little bit,” Roden said.
Roden says during last week’s extreme heat, their cows produced up to 20% less milk.
It was equally tough for cows in Saukville at the Opitz Dairy Farm. Their cows are their business.
“That’s our main source of income. Now, our income is reduced that much too,” Opitz said.
In Saukville, the corn is a little taller but Opitz says it’s growing incredibly unevenly.
Roden and Opitz say the state’s current drought declaration doesn’t help most farmers in southeast Wisconsin because they don’t have the equipment to get water from lakes and streams. What they need is rain.
“We’re gonna need rain in the next 7-14 days,” Opitz said.
“We need it now. I mean, we needed it a month ago,” Roden said.
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