Wisconsin Farm Bureau: Statement on current drought conditions
Contact: Casey Langan, Executive Director of Public Relations, 608.828.5711
Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s President Bill Bruins issued the following statement on the current drought condition in Wisconsin.
“As a farmer, every morning when I get up I am thinking about the drought. Like other farmers across the state, I hope and pray for rain. It is difficult to watch our crops wilt away and hard to keep a positive attitude about our current situation.
There are so many uncertainties and questions about what to do now. Where will we source our feed supplies and how will we pay for the extremely expensive hay and corn that we normally grow on our own farms? What will our cash flow be and how much additional money must we borrow? What will be the impact of this year’s drought on our farming operations next year?
Right now, it is very important for farmers to reach out to their lenders and equally important for lenders to reach out to their farm customers to look at the financial issues and options for this year and next year. We need assurance from our lenders that they are going to work with us through this difficult time.
Farmers are also wondering right now what to do with the corn crop. Should we leave it and see if we can harvest it as grain in the fall? Or should we harvest it for silage, and if so, when? What is the feed value of that silage and what is a fair price if you are buying and selling it? It is important for nutritionists and agronomists to work with farmers to answer those questions.
Given how extensive this drought is, it is very important for the U.S. House of Representatives to act on the 2012 farm bill and pass it. Now is not the time to play politics with agriculture’s livelihood. Farmers need certainty right now and also for next year’s planting decisions. We need to know how crop insurance will work in the farm bill, how dairy policy reform will impact our dairies and what disaster assistance programs will be in place. This will help make a prosperous agriculture which puts food on everyone’s plate.”