For the first time since the drought in southern Wisconsin began, soil conditions haven’t worsened from one week to the next.
It's the first time since early summer that drought conditions have pretty much stayed the same from one week to the next. National Weather Service Meteorologist Jeff Boyne says rain has played a role: it’s kept some areas from getting drier. Boyne says the rain was just enough to green up plants and lawns, but not enough to stop a drought: “It’s a limited supply of moisture out there, so any duration of dry periods at least a week or two, you can see you grasses turn brown rather quickly.”
The state's bottom counties are still at the level of extreme drought. But Grant County UW Extension Agriculture agent Ted Bay says farmers he’s talked to say the worst of the drought is probably over, and they accept that they’ll be harvesting a damaged corn crop this fall. “For a majority of farmers in southwest Wisconsin the feeling is: we know how bad it’s going to be, and it is bad, and we still have hope soybeans can improve, but we need rain soon.”
Boyne says some areas of the state still needs up to six more inches of rain before they can climb out of a drought.