Flooding likely to impact farmers into 2019

Published: Sep. 5, 2018 at 6:38 PM CDT
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The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Wisconsin's historic flooding has caused damage to farms across the state.

"The impact really has been extremely wide, from one side of the state to the other," said Sandy Chalmers, the State Executive Director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Chalmers said some of the damage may come months from now during the harvest.

"It keeps raining and the waters are not receding, or they rise again. That makes it very difficult for everything, especially when you're trying to clean-up," said Chalmers.

Cory Brown with Sunburst Dairy in Belleville said the rain is delaying his farm's harvest.

"It makes me a little uneasy," said Brown.

Brown said if they wait too long to harvest, it will likely lower the food's nutritional value.

Sunburst Dairy uses the harvest to feed the farm's cattle, and Brown's family won't know if the heavy rains will impact their livestock until they start serving it.

"We feed our cows like Olympic athletes. If they don't have the proper nutrition they don't perform at their best," said Brown.

Chalmers said farmers should be tracking their crops, and reporting any damage to their local Farm Service Agency.

"The situation is different on every individual farm...but the important thing is the USDA has programs in place to assist with disasters," said Chalmers.

Brown said farmers are trying to keep a positive outlook.

"We're in this for the long run. One bad year isn't going to crush our spirits," said Brown.