Rain is on its way – but is it coming fast enough to help Wisconsin’s farmers?

JANESVILLE, Wis. – After dealing with an incredibly dry month, the first real help could be on the way for farmers in Southern Wisconsin.

Doug Rebout, of Roger Rebout and Sons Farms in Rock County, said it’ll take a fair amount of precipitation to get growth where it needs to be.

If we could get an inch of rain every four or five days, that would be great,” Rebout said. “We were starting to get worried, especially when we had those 90, 100 degree days. That was really taking it’s toll…Crops were looking kind of a pale green, starting to shrivel up and everything.”

The lifelong farmer says in the last month he’s gotten just about an inch of rain in a period of time where he would normally expect several inches. By Thursday, he says his corn crop is significantly behind where it would normally be this time of year.

“It’s not like if you get a little bit of rain it takes off,” Rebout said. “Those plants are already stunted a little bit.”

Wisconsin Farm Bureau President Kevin Krentz says much of the state’s farmers are in a similar position.

We rely on mother nature so much in our industry,” Krentz said. “Over the course of the last six weeks, we’ve gotten pretty dry.”

Both men say at this point, they’re hoping to avoid chances for severe storms, which could potentially damage crops beyond repair.

You’re just kind of watching saying hopefully we get rain, but not those big bad storms they’re talking about,” Rebout said. 

Despite the uncertainty, however, Rebout says he’s confident in the farm’s chances moving forward this season.

On the farm, there is no magical year where everything goes right. There’s always going to be something,” he said. “Whether it’s tariffs, or weather, or pandemic, or whatever, and we just know we’re going to get through it, we’re resilient. We know there’s going to be bad times, but we know there’s going to be good years. We know the good years are going to make up for the bad years and keep us going.”