Wisconsin Crops Need Rain Now

Wisconsin's crops are at a critical point and need rain -- soon.

State agricultural officials say the dry weather is taking its toll on crops across Wisconsin, and last week's above average temperatures didn't help.

Soil moisture is rated 90 percent short across Wisconsin with just spotty rain reported in recent days. That could put a lot of stress on corn, which is now in the tasseling and silking stage. That determines the yield and the quality of the crop.

Governor Doyle declared a drought last week. That allows farmers
who live near pubic waters to apply for permits to use them to
hydrate their fields.

Still, only seven farmers applied for the emergency permits the last time a drought was declared in 2003. State officials aren't sure yet how many farmers have applied for permits this year.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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