‘Hoping for the best:’ Farmers in southeast Wisconsin struggle to harvest following heavy rain

WEST BEND -- Farmers across southeast Wisconsin were soaked by early October heavy rains, after an especially rainy September. More rain on Saturday, Oct. 5 didn't give the agricultural industry a break, with farmers struggling to dry out.

Rick Roden

Underwater after continuous downpours, farms across southeast Wisconsin took a pounding as storms brought heavy rain as the calendar turned to October.

"A lot of farms in the area, we are all in the same boat," said Rick Roden, farm co-owner.

Water rushed through hundreds of acres at Roden Echo Valley.

"That really put a halt to things," said Roden. "Here, fields were flooded. Fields were very muddy, and it's going to take some time to get things dried out again."

Farm flooding

Farm flooding

Roden expected a challenging fall.

"Even when we try to attempt harvest, it's not going to be easy," said Roden. "It's not going to go as good as it should. At the same time, it's getting time where we need to get the crops off the field."

After days of being drenched, he said Sunday, Oct. 6 they would have to deal with utilizing extra labor and extra equipment -- which translates into extra costs, adding time would be of the essence to ensure the business can stay afloat.

Farm flooding

Farm flooding

"The crops are going to continue to dry down, and the corn silage you would like to make 65% to 68% moisture range," said Roden. "Most of the crops are there right now. It's going to continue to dry down, and you are going to continue to lose feed value."

On Sunday, he welcomed the breeze and sunshine -- looking forward to drier days to come.

"Everybody is just hoping and praying this October, we are going to have a calm October with minimal precipitation and sunshine," said Roden. "We hope for the best."

Roden said Sunday it was too early to tell whether the consumer would feel any financial impact.

Farm flooding

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