Narrow strip of western Wisconsin still needs rain

Northwestern Wisconsin farmers in a narrow band between Eau Claire and the Twin Cities are continuing to experience unusually dry weather.

One of them is Tom Gillis who farms near River Falls, just east of the Minnesota border.  He tells Brownfield he’s not expecting a great corn crop this year. “The dry land here in St. Croix County is going to be probably below our ten-year APH. We’re probably six inches short of rain for the summer on average. I’m thinking probably 130 to 150 range.” (bushels per acre)

And the soybeans also need a lot more rain, so his yield prediction is below average. “Hopefully, 30 to 40 (bushels per acre), in that neighborhood, the dry land anyway.”

Gillis has a theory behind the sliver of drought some are calling the Dry-94 corridor along Interstate 94. “I’m convinced, although I have no proof of this, that the heat dome of the metro Twin Cities area breaks these storms up that come in from the west, and it splits them. It seems like you can go north of us and they get more rain, and you can go south of us and they catch more rain.”

Gillis has some irrigation on his cropland and says he will be okay.  He says weed control has been good this season, even with the dry weather but some of the stressed crops on dry ground in his county are having more insect problems.

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