Dry Weather Persists in Western Wisconsin, Impacting Crop Harvests Amidst Ongoing Drought Conditions


Persistent dry weather conditions continue to grip Western Wisconsin and the broader state, with moderate to severe droughts taking hold. In response to these challenges, farmers are now in the midst of their harvest season.

Currently, farmers are focusing on the crucial task of gathering corn destined to serve as livestock feed, commonly referred to as corn silage.

While this year's crop may not qualify as a bumper harvest, there is a sense of relief among farmers that the situation is not as dire as initially feared in June. According to Clark, an agricultural expert, "I wouldn’t be surprised if the average yield is maybe just a little bit below some of the historical norms."

In the vicinity of Osseo, Steve Strey, owner of Strey Farms, expressed concern that his corn is not meeting the expectations for this time of year. Strey highlighted specific indicators he observes before commencing the harvest. He explained, “I knew we were going to hurt on yield in June already. It’s been dry so long that the grain itself didn’t mature because the plant couldn’t take up enough moisture to set and fill that grain.”

These arid conditions are not unprecedented. Clark recalled similar weather patterns nearly a decade ago, noting, “Back in 2012, we were right on the northern end of that more statewide drought at that point.”

Strey echoed this sentiment, reminiscing about the challenges faced in 2012, saying, “2012 was really bad too. We were really short on rain back then.”

With the current drought conditions exerting pressure on these crops, Strey anticipates that it will also impact the price received for the harvested corn. He lamented, “I think it’s going to be a really poor, poor quality... Not only do you haul less weight at a time and get paid for less, but you get a deduction because the quality is poor as well.”

Looking ahead to the next year, Strey expressed apprehension regarding future weather patterns. He articulated, “That’s all I ever ask for, can we just have a normal year? What I’m truly scared of, I think we’re into a different pattern.”