Mount Horeb farmer tends crops amid drought

Farmers prepare crops amid drought.
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 10:49 PM CDT
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MOUNT HOREB, Wis. (WMTV) - With fall fast approaching and Wisconsinites eager to carve pumpkins and pick apples, farmers in the area are preparing for the crowds by making sure their crops are ready.

“You do everything you possibly can to do to control your crop and create a great crop but mother nature is just mother nature,” Sutter Ridge Farm Owner Julie Sutter said.

Every year presents its own issues ranging from a late frost in the spring to a dry and hot summer.

“The amount of irrigating we did was through the roof,” Sutter said. “I think for about two months there was maybe five days we didn’t irrigate. Otherwise, every day constant 24/7 between all our different crops.”

The owner of the farm says with the help of her husband Matt, they monitor their crops with diligence.

“I’m talking one in the morning,” Sutter said. “He was out switching lines to make sure that there was a constant rate--not too much, not too little.”

NBC15′s Meteorologist Kevin Corriveau has been tracking the drought since April.

‘We did see some dryness across the area. It then started to snowball going from May, June and July,” Meteorologist Corriveau said. “At the end of August we started seeing some historical context to the drought.”

The north is in the highest category of drought putting the whole state at risk.

“Vernon, Richland and Crawford counties--not only are the in the worst and exceptional category,” Meteorologist Corriveau said. “They are also in the extreme category which extends up to the north, west and the east and also to the south.”

Last week, the rain plateaued drought conditions. “Any rain at this moment is going to be helping,” Meteorologist Corriveau said.

Although crops need moisture--Sutter says she is weary of hail.

“I know every single apple grower, when you’re sitting there, and you start hearing that rain. You’re always wondering are there going to be some little things in there,” she said.

Despite the drought, Julie says her crops are doing well but for others it could be a different story.

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