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An Uncertain Season for Local Farmers

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09/09/2019- It’s almost harvest time in Marinette County and the one word that can be used to sum up this growing season is: variability. Scott Reuss is the County’s UW Extension Agriculture and Horticulture Agent and he says from field to field and crop to crop, no two outcomes are likely to be the same. That means that while some local producers will fare well this year, others may find their crops coming up short.
“We’ve got some corn that is extremely good and some that just never got going and got planted way too late. We’ve got a lot of wetter acres where we’ve got either soybeans or alternative forage crops that got planted and they’re really struggling because it was just too wet for the roots to develop correctly. But, on some of the areas where we got planted on time, we did have good enough growing conditions throughout July and fairly consistent moisture that we’re in fairly good shape.”
Reuss notes that there were a higher number of prevented planting acres this year in Marinette County than have ever been registered through crop insurance before. And, he adds, it’s not just the weather conditions creating uncertainty for farmers.
“Certainly on the crop side of life the impacts are fairly significant. The anticipated prices that will be received at harvest are lower than what we were originally thinking we were going to be able to achieve, in part due to the tariff issues. It’s a little bit harder to decipher the effects of the tariff issues on the dairy market, but there’s certainly at least an effect there. It’s just harder to quantify.” 
Harvest season throughout the region is expected to be in full swing within the next week or two, however, Reuss says that, too, is weather-dependent. He also says motorists should be on the lookout for harvest equipment on the roads and slow down and leave plenty of space if approaching one.

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