What a difference a year makes. The rains keep coming, and this is putting additional stress on Wisconsin farmers.
Farmers already had a shortage of feed because of last year's drought and now with a wet and cool spring plus flooding in some parts of the state, planting and first crop hay harvest have been delayed making the situation even worse.
The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection encourages farmers who have crop insurance to get in touch with their agents with questions about what is covered by their plan and what recording needs to be done.
Farmers should also report crop damage and failed acres to their county Farm Service Agency (FSA) office.
Any damage to conservation structures such as dams, buffer strips and side waterways may also be reported to the FSA. For details on FSA updates or contact information for county offices, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/wi.
Feed stocks are low on the farm and can be difficult to find in the marketplace.
The University of Wisconsin-Extension continues to keep the Farmer to Farmer Hay, Forage and Corn List on its website at http://farmertofarmer.uwex.edu/. This site connects buyers and sellers of hay, alfalfa haylage, corn silage, high moisture corn, corn grain and other forages.
While many will feel anxious to harvest what forages they can in wet conditions, farmers are reminded to be careful not to cause more damage to their fields.
As always, DATCP's Wisconsin Farm Center is available to answer questions and connect farmers with available resources.
Farm Center staff can assist with financial planning, help mediate with creditors and provide referrals to counseling services.
The Farm Center services are free and available weekdays from 7:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at 1-800-942-2474 or firstname.lastname@example.org.