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Rain brings a little relief from the drought in Oak Creek

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OAK CREEK -- After a little bit of rain on Friday, July 13th in parts of southeastern Wisconsin, some farmers said they'll take any rain we can get! A severe drought emergency has been declared for southeastern Wisconsin, which has farmers worried!

Some farmers said Friday's rain should last about a week, or 10 days.

Uncertain of whether or when another rainfall event will occur, farmer Mark Verhalen said he's thankful for every drop of water that hits the thirsty pasture at his family farm in Oak Creek.

"We've been waiting for this for a long time and everything helps," Verhalen said.

Verhalen said Friday's thunderstorms, combined with a location near the shoreline have been beneficial during the drought.

"Close to the lake here we're fortunate enough not to have two to three weeks of 100 degree weather, so it`s been cooler," Verhalen said.

Verhalen's 300 acres of pasture have been yearning for moisture. The drought has damaged his wheat, soy beans, corn and alfalfa sprouts.

"It just dried up. We've got some spotty alfalfa growth out here. It's about one-fourth of the crop. In two to three days, it's going to turn green again," Verhalen said.

Verhalen hopes the wet weather helps dampen the ground. He said the drought and dry conditions have been damaging.

"The Oak creek July 4th celebration actually started part of our winter wheat field on fire because we didn't have it all harvested," Verhalen said.

He lost two acres to the blaze, but luckily, fire crews were on standby because of the bone dry conditions.

Before the rain, Verhalen said he lost about 25-30% on crop yields and is praying Mother Nature continues to cooperate. If we don't have more rain, he could be looking at close to a 50% loss.

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