Farmers allowed to harvest on state land

Governor made announcement Monday

Farmers suffering under an ongoing drought will be allowed to harvest hay and graze cattle on about 11,500 acres of state-owned land.

Gov. Scott Walker made the announcement Monday.

The special harvest ends Aug. 10 for prairie grasses and Aug. 30 for cool season grasses. Only one cutting of hay will be allowed.

Farmers will have to sign an agreement saying the hay being taken from state property will be used for livestock and not sold.

More information is available at 1-888-936-7463 or on the Department of Natural Resources website at dnr.wi.gov. Additional drought-related information is on a special website www.ready.wi.gov.

Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Corn Growers and Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board held two emergency meetings Monday for farmers struggling during the drought.

About 250 farmers came to Rex’s Innkeeper in Waunakee on Monday afternoon for one meeting, which gave farmers to chance to ask questions about everything from crop insurance to meeting their grain elevator obligations.

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“We’ve just been getting flooded with phone calls and have been trying to come up with an idea of how we can answer a lot of questions with as much knowledge being presented as possible, because we don’t have all the answers. So, we decided to put on this presentation this afternoon,” said Dan Roe, president of the Wisconsin Soybean Association.

About 160 farmers attended a similar meeting Monday morning in Janesville.