The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map was released Thursday and it shows little has changed in Wisconsin over the past week.
All or part of 13 Wisconsin counties remain in the extreme drought category and the entire bottom half of the state remains at some level of drought, ranging from extreme to abnormally dry.
Southern Wisconsin has seen more rain in recent weeks after a prolonged dry period that stretched from late June into much of July, but farmer David Perkins says it tends to miss his place.
"We probably had maybe an inch and a half since it started raining," said Perkins, who owns Vermont Valley Community Farm in west Dane County, adding that the little rain he has seen helps.
"But the bigger impact is the cooler weather," Perkins said. "The temp has come down, so if you get a quarter inch of rain it actually means something."
At Crossroads Community Farm, in Cross Plains, they've seen more rain, and the owners welcomed the good, soaking rain we saw Thursday. However, the hot, dry weather we saw earlier this summer has forced them to think about more irrigation.
"You really can't afford to have a vegetable farm without irrigation," said Mike Nolterwyss at Crossroads. "But it's a matter of how much you have. We'd like to have more."
But that investment is costly and so is keeping it running.
Crossroads has a well so the water is free, but Nolterwyss says keeping that well running overtime has meant about $700 more per month more in electric bills.
As of Thursday morning, Madison's rainfall deficit was 5.18 inches since the start of June and nearly six inches on the year.
You can see the Drought Monitor map at www.droughtmonitor.unl.edu
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