Farmers seek help at emergency drought hearings - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Farmers seek help at emergency drought meetings

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WAUNAKEE (WKOW) -- More than 300 area corn and soybean farmers packed into emergency drought meetings in Waunakee and Janesville on Monday, seeking advice on what to do with their crops.

"What I was looking for today, especially on the corn is, how to get a good estimate of what type of production we actually have today," said John Damm, a corn and soybean farmer from Columbus, who attended the meeting in Waunakee.

UW-Madison Soy and Grain Specialist Shawn Conley told corn growers that while most of the crop is gone, all may not be lost.

"It may look dead from the road, but if you actually go up and pull the ears back and start looking, let's say you get a 40 percent pollination, well that's still a lot of production and value that can go into corn silage," said Conley.  "Even 40 percent better than taking nothing at this point."

Conley and other experts were on hand to answer questions and ease concerns.

They all agreed soybean crops may hold even more potential, because they normally don't fully develop until mid-August.

But even those crops need further inspection, because the drought has caused an unforeseen problem: spider mites.

"Spider mites is one of those pests that can take a soybean field from 30, 40, 50 bushels to zero," said Conley.  "Its one you can have 100 percent complete disaster on, so, it goes very quickly."

No matter what, most of the growers in attendance figure to file crop insurance claims.

"There's a lot of worry of farmers, you know, how fast claims will be taken care of, what we're gonna see as a final settlement, will it be enough to get us through the next crop year," explained Dan Roe, President of the Wisconsin Soybean Association.

And that's if they get a settlement.

"There's a lot of small nuances, that if they don't do things in a certain step-wise progression, then it makes their crop insurance null and void...and that's where we get into issues," said Conley.

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WAUNAKEE (WKOW) -- Wisconsin soybean and corn growers in south-central Wisconsin had two opportunities to find help dealing with crop and marketing issues caused by the drought Monday.

Emergency drought meetings sponsored by the Wisconsin Soybean and Corn Programs were scheduled for Janesville and Waunakee.

The meetings are free and sponsored by the Wisconsin Soybean and Corn Programs.

Last week, Gov. Scott Walker declared a state of emergency due to drought, or abnormally dry conditions in the following 42 Wisconsin counties: Adams, Brown, Buffalo, Calumet, Clark, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Fond Du Lac, Grant, Green, Green Lake, Iowa, Jackson, Jefferson, Juneau, Kenosha, Kewaunee, LaCrosse, Lafayette, Marquette, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Monroe, Outagamie, Ozaukee, Portage, Racine, Richland, Rock, Sauk, Sheboygan, Trempealeau, Vernon, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha, Waupaca, Waushara, Winnebago, and Wood.

Greg Neumann is covering the emergency drought meeting in Waunakee and will have a live report on 27 News at 6.

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