Crop Conditions

By: Erica Dao
By: Erica Dao

The only thing growing strong without water on area farms these days is anticipation. Farmers are waiting and hoping.
"It's what we call a weather market,” said Mahlon Peterson, agriculture agent for Eau Claire County.
Wheat and corn prices are soaring because of the lack of moisture. When there's no rain, there are fewer crops, and as a result, it drives up the prices.
This is also a crucial time for corn. According to Peterson, there needs to be rain every week to maintain the crops.
"We're in a critical time. We need moisture for pollination to occur and that's going to happen, depending on your field, in the next 3 weeks."
The lack of moisture has a different effect on every field because there are different soil types. Heavier soils retain moisture longer than sandy soil. And because of this, some crops may be doomed.
"It may be for some of them. They may have already lost a percentage of their potential crops. On the other side, perhaps they're not."
However Peterson says there are factors that may help the crops recover, such as a late frost. This gives more time for plants to mature naturally.
"If it rains pretty well area-wide in the next seven to 10 days, we may have a pretty good recovery."
For now, farmers need to ride out the dry days and hope Mother Nature gives in to some much needed rain...


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