The drought took a toll on crops in the southern half of the state. While much needed rain in mid and late July brought welcome relief to crops across southern Wisconsin, yields will be greatly diminished. As a result, dairy and beef producers have been left scrambling to boost feed supplies going into winter.
Rains brought relief
Gary Strunz of Orfordville, who milks 140 cows and raises 140 heifers with his brother Joe, says a storm on July 18 dumped 2 inches of rain on his farm but knocked down most of his early planted silage corn.
"Even though it knocked down the silage corn, it was worth it to get the rain," Strunz says.
The storm also knocked out power for 15 hours at his western Rock County farm.
"We had to use the generator to milk the cows," he says.
Strunz, 51, says they received another inch of rain on July 24 and 25 and 6 tenths of an inch on July 31for a total of 3.4 inches of rain in July.
"That's double what we had in May and June combined."
The rain arrived too late to save his silage corn that was planted in mid-April and pollinated two weeks before the rains came.
"There's nothing on those ears, but we can still chop it for silage," Strunz says. "It will be challenging with all the knocked down corn, but we'll get it."