Rainy weather interferes with crop pollination

BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) -- Late July normally marks prime pollination season for crops, but a rainy spring and summer means farmers have already sustained losses for their yield.

“This is probably one of the more extreme years as far as … as bad of year for corn development, production,” says Brian Madigan, the agronomy sales manager at Country Vision.

For months, area farmers have seen delays in crop growth, with standing water and wilted corn stalks covering their fields. Now, in pollination season, those delays are finally catching up.

“We could be looking at one-third to half of crop, compared to what we normally should have,” Madigan says. “We lost a lot of water damage in those pockets, and it's just not going to fill in.”

Some fields were only planted in the past couple weeks, meaning a smaller yield going into next season.

“This year actually one of the best weeks we had as far as planting did not happen until 4th of July,” Madigan says. “When you're looking at losing two months of the growing season, it's just… We're not set up for a good year.”

“We got some corn in mid-May, and the early corn looks good,” says dairy farmer Dan Natzke. “But some of the crops that were planted late, like the beginning of June, those are struggling.”

Some areas are already seeing up to 25 percent loss in this year’s yield, making crop experts worried about next year too.

“You take the loss of the alfalfa seeding, and now we take the corn that’s damaged, and we take the hit on the corn silage, and there could be a few shortage,” Madigan says. “Starting next year there's going to be guys that are definitely scared.”

For now, farmers are still holding out hope for this season’s harvest.

“There’s a couple months of good growing weather hopefully we have in front of us, that a lot of those crops that we have that are behind can somewhat catch up and it can be a decent crop in the end,” Natzke says.