Rain is important, but...

Jerry Apps
This grassy waterway between two soybean fields is again filled with water following yet another heavy October rain, delaying harvest for farmers across Wisconsin.

In January 2017, I published a book titled Never Curse the Rain. A few months later public television aired an hour-long documentary with the same title. In both the book and the TV show, I talked about the importance of water and how we must work to keep it available, safe and pure.

When I was a kid, it seemed our sandy farm never had enough rain. When it did rain and my brothers and I complained about cancelling a fishing trip, my dad would remind us, “Never Curse the Rain.” I’ve never forgotten those words.

Jerry Apps' book, "Never Curse the Rain" is a farm boy's reflections on water.

As luck would have it, not long after the book and TV show appeared, it began raining, and it continues. I checked some records. Wisconsin’s annual average rainfall is supposed to be about 34.5 inches. In 2018, the total rainfall for the state was 58.65 inches, with some areas receiving much more.

In 2019 the rains continue. Green Bay weather people report that this year is the wettest year in that city since 1890. As of October 2nd, Green Bay received more than 39 inches of rain.

Farmers had trouble putting in their crops because of wet spring weather. Now, like a double whammy, farmers are having trouble harvesting their crops because of too much rain. For those who remind me of my words, “Never curse the rain,” I suggest a few negative words may be in order. But no cursing.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Rain is important, but, but . . .

Jerry Apps

Jerry Apps, born and raised on a Wisconsin farm, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the author of more than 35 books, many of them on rural history and country life. For further information about Jerry's writing and TV work go to