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Marshfield Ag Station: 2017 Was Second Wettest Spring in 100 Years
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 07/11/2017

There's no doubt that farmers had to deal with excessive moisture conditions so far this year. But just how wet are we compared to other growing seasons? According to University of Wisconsin-Extension Agronomist Joe Lauer, the period between January 1 and July 4 was close to setting new records.

Lauer analyzed data recorded at the UW-Marshfield Ag Research Station and found that the 2017 growing season is the second wettest to date over the last century.

"I went back and used 100 years of weather data at Marshfield," Lauer said. "So far, 24.6 inches of precipitation have been measured. The wettest year was 1973 when 25.8 inches were measured to July 4, followed by 1942 when 23.8 inches was recorded. The year 1993 was the fourth wettest at 22.3 inches."

He adds that farmers in most regions of the state faced challenges over the past couple of months as they tried to plant corn and harvest their hay. And those set-backs will likely pose other obstacles later in the year.

"I'm afraid we're going to experience a double-whammy as the wet corn will make it difficult to harvest dry grain, so more of it will need to be chopped for silage," he said.

The ag stations in Marshfield and Arlington are used by the Extension to track the state's average weather patterns each year.

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