Farmer says dry conditions could be a “potential disaster”

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WEST BEND -- One farmer has described recent dry conditions in southeastern Wisconsin as a potential disaster. Though we did see a few raindrops this weekend, the lack of rainfall over the past several days is already affecting some crops.

Sunday, June 17th was another warm day at Rob-N-Cin Farms in West Bend -- certainly not what owner Bob Roden was hoping for.

"The lack of rain has affected us and the potential for a very good corn crop, wheat, soybeans and even our alfalfa crop is being affected," Roden said.

Experts say Wisconsin is not in a drought, but Roden said he's still concerned.

"We're probably talking, corn acres, probably at this juncture, $250, $300 of potential gross income that we've lost already," Roden said.

Roden said there's probably 10 to 15 percent loss on the seeds that didn't germinate, since there hasn't been a significant amount of rain for such a long time.

Washington County farm business educator Alan Linebur said it's important for corn plants to have good sub-soil moisture.

"We see quite a bit more leaf curling and some drought stress showing up on the plants.  We see how rolled up that is.  These plants are smaller and struggling as a result of the lack of water. Talking with local farmers, they think another couple of weeks could make this quite a bit worse," Linnebur said.

Roden said though it did rain on Saturday, it wasn't enough.

"We need a couple inches of rain to do any good," Roden said.

Roden said he is optimistic things will improve.

"We've gotten through the drought in '88. We've gotten through other perils of weather situations. I'm sure we'll somehow manage to get through this," Roden said.

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