Farmers expect higher crop yields in a year of need

Local News

CHIPPEWA VALLEY, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Good news for farmers – the latest stretch of warm weather has helped speed up crop growth despite a slow start to the season. First News at Nine’s Denton Postlewait explains how the growth could help farmers end the season with more money in their pocket.

After a cool start to the Chipepwa Valley growing season – crop production is looking better than expected.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if we had one of the better per acre yields that we’ve seen in many years,” said UW-Extension Chippewa County Agriculture Agent, Jerry Clark.

For the last several years, Wisconsin farmers have been dealing with an unpredictable planting season. This year, however things are looking up.

It looks exceptionally well compared to few years where we got really late planted or early frost and these kinds of things,” said Clark.

July’s high temps mixed with just enough rainfall has corn, soybean and other crops projecting higher than expected yields. While prices have dropped slightly after a recent spike Chippewa County Agricultural Agent Jerry Clark says this year’s growing season could be what some farmers need to stay afloat.

Clark said, “If anything, we’re having a great growing season so that part is going to bring the yield up and then if price stays kind of where it is, that’s going to mean more dollars for the farmers because yield will be up.”

And if it seems like corn fields are growing faster this year – Clark says it may be because  the Chippewa Valley hasn’t had a good year in at least five years.

“I think what has happened this year is, we have a more normal growing season than maybe the past, several, recent ones,” said Clark. “So I think we kind of forget that corn maybe should look this good. But it really looks good this year.”

But crops are not the only thing on the upswing after a crash caused by COVID-19 Clark says the dairy industry is making a comeback as well. And while yield projections at this point are good there is still a long season ahead.

“We’re not out of the woods yet,” said Clark. “If it gets dry right now, that could be the end of the grain filling season and you won’t have the yield you’re anticipating.

Clark says if current growing conditions continue this could be one of the better production years the Chippewa Valley has seen in quite some time.

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