2019: Wet beginning and end could hurt
Dairy farmers in the Upper Midwest are preparing for harvest to be just as challenging as the planting season. Brownfield’s Nicole Heslip interviewed some of the World Dairy Expo Stars for their thoughts on the industry and ongoing harvest.
Dairywoman of the Year Janina Siemers of Wisconsin tells Brownfield it’s been trying times for their farm with low prices, high inputs and difficult weather.
“We just experienced almost nine inches of rain here in the last 72 hours. I don’t know how we’re going to get our crops off—I think a lot of prayer.”
Dr. Randy Shaver is being recognized as the Dairy Industry Person of the Year and served the dairy industry for more than 30 years in dairy cattle nutrition research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a focus on corn silage.
He tells Brownfield this year’s growing season has been one of the most difficult in his lifetime and another three to ten inches of rain isn’t helping farmers finish harvest.
“If that corn is very wet and you’re behind half milk-line, and you have a killing frost, a lot of times that ear doesn’t dry down and you can get a lot of mold formation and mycotoxin production.”
Now retired, Shaver says some farmers may be forced to harvest it anyway or turn to making earlage or snaplage.