Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Farmers Alfalfa Crop Deals with Hard WinterSubmitted: 05/23/2013
Story By Hayley Tenpas


DEERBROOK - Wisconsin farmers depend on alfalfa crop for feeding dairy cows.

Usually, alfalfa survives winter.

But a long, cold, and difficult winter is making things hard for many farmers.

"That's rot. The plant is green, and it's growing but it's not going to make another cutting," said farmer Jason Nagel.

This year's growing season will be a challenge for him.

"We had to scramble fast, we had to start tearing up fields that we anticipated to have hay off of," said Nagel.

450 of Jason's 510 acres are ruined, and instead of full green fields, we see patchy, crunchy, dead alfalfa.

Crop Consultant Chuck Bolte says a year of weird weather is to blame.

"Basically our issues this year were with the winter weather and last year's drought at the end of the growing season. And that's affected a lot of the alfalfa that was in the ground and we have a lot of winter kill," said Bolte "For the dairy farms of Langlade county and north eastern WI, alfalfa wise we're pretty desperate."

Winter kill affected 90 percent of alfalfa crops.

"When I walked the fields with our insurance adjuster the one day, it was the sickest feeling I've had in years. You walk out and you've got this brown stubble that's here. There's nothing there. And you have eleven hundred animals to feed," said Nagel.

Alfalfa crop from this farm goes directly into silage, which gets fed to about 600 dairy cows.

The temporary fix for feeding 600 cows means outsourcing feed, re-planting hundreds of acres and hoping for the best.

"We can do everything we think is right, we can follow the textbook, follow the research we can follow everybody's advice, but in the end it's what mother nature deals us," said Nagel.


Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

LAONA - Whipping winds and off-and-on rain couldn't keep 91-year-old Bud Kuhrasch off the golf course Monday.

"Rain or shine, we'd be here," Kuhrasch said with a smile.

Then again, the weather doesn't really bother Kuhrasch. The U.S. Navy veteran helped invade Omaha Beach at Normandy on D-Day in 1944.  Monday, he joined two other World War II vets and more than 100 other veterans at Nicolet Country Club's annual outing.

"It's an honor for me to be here with these guys," Kuhrasch said of fellow servicemen Dan Buschatz and Bernie Miller.

+ Read More

EAGLE RIVER - Many folks worried about their own ash trees when the emerald ash borer made its way to Rhinelander in 2014.

Now, the Vilas County 4H kids are taking precautions into their own hands.

+ Read More

MINOCQUA - Protests over a proposed oil pipeline running through sacred Native American land in the Dakotas could last for a long time.

Lac du Flambeau tribal members and a local church are now gathering donations to bring to the thousands in Standing Rock.

+ Read More

MARATHON COUNTY - Highway 29 in Marathon County needed to be shut down for a time after cattle escaped from a trailer following a crash.

It happened at 11:15 p.m. Sunday when a tractor-trailer rolled on Highway 29, at County Y in the Town of Norrie.

+ Read More

MINOCQUA - Keeping up with technology can be tough but Lakeland Union High School thinks it's up for the challenge. 

The school's newest investment is bringing lesson plans to life.

 The new program has already had an impact on students, sparking more interest in science and medicine. 

"It definitely made me really interested in the heart, because that was the first thing we kind of looked at and it was really cool to see inside of it," said LUHS Senior Claire Boston.

The Z Space lab uses 3D and virtual reality to make lessons come to life. 

The school bought the technology after teachers went to an education and technology conference in August. It knew this was something it needed for their students. 

"When you're excited about learning you're going to learn a lot more than being forced to learn," said District Technology Coordinator Josh Maltbey.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Newswatch 12 turned 50 this year, but it's actually lucky the station made it past year two.

A tragic accident in 1968 knocked the station off the air for nearly a year, and William Anderson was one of the two who lived through it.

"It's a quite a story," said Anderson.

+ Read More

MADISON - Wisconsin elections officials have started mailing postcards to hundreds of thousands of people telling them how to register to vote.

State lawmakers passed a measure earlier this year requiring Wisconsin to join a multi-state consortium that works to identify eligible voters who haven't registered and informs them how to get on the books.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here