Farmers in 27 Wisconsin Counties Will Get Help Amid ‘Near-Drought’ Conditions

Corn Drought Shutterstock

(Image via Shutterstock)

By Pat Kreitlow

July 25, 2023

Crop yields may come in behind average as scattered showers and thunderstorms fail to make up for a lengthy stretch of not enough rain.

Persistent dry conditions throughout Wisconsin have led to a natural disaster designation from US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a move that will allow farmers in 27 counties to access emergency lines of credit in order to protect themselves against the possibility of  extremely low crop yields.

The emergency loans are available through the US Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) because of drought and near-drought conditions due to a lack of rainfall. Some areas in the state have received as much as nine inches of rain less than usual over the past three months.

Producers can learn more about the loans from their local FSA office and through the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection drought resource page.

“We’re continuing to do everything we can to support our farmers and their families, and we appreciate the help from our federal partners and USDA Secretary Vilsack to support our state’s farmers and our local communities during the recent drought conditions,” said Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers. “I encourage eligible Wisconsin producers to access these critical resources that are available through this designation, including assistance like emergency loans.”

Vilsack’s designation is primarily targeted to farmers in Adams, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Juneau, Lafayette, Marquette, Monroe, Richland, Rock, Sauk, and Vernon counties. Producers in contiguous counties are also eligible for the assistance: Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Jackson, La Crosse, Portage, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha, Waushara, and Wood counties.

In the USDA’s new crop report for Wisconsin, topsoil moisture is rated almost 20% very short, 43% short, 38% adequate, and 0% surplus. Corn silking is 25% complete, five days behind the five-year average. The soybean crop is 57% bloomed, three days behind average. Oat condition is 42% good to excellent, similar to last week.

Winter wheat is 24% harvested, about average for this time of year. And the second cutting of alfalfa is 91% complete, two days ahead of last year and seven days ahead of average.


  • Pat Kreitlow

    The Founding Editor of UpNorthNews, Pat was a familiar presence on radio and TV stations in western Wisconsin before serving in the state Legislature. After a brief stint living in the Caribbean, Pat and wife returned to Chippewa Falls to be closer to their growing group of grandchildren. He now serves as UNN's chief political correspondent and host of UpNorthNews Radio, airing weekday mornings 6 a.m.-8 a.m on the Civic Media radio network and the UpNorthNews Facebook page.

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