Marathon Co. corn crop ahead of schedule - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Marathon Co. corn crop ahead of schedule


Farmers say the month of July is a critical growing time for the state's corn crop. While this year's yield is still up in the air, some farmers in Southern Wisconsin are feeling the heat.

But one Marathon County farmer said his crop is two weeks ahead of schedule.

"It's pretty much on its own to grow right now," farmer Doug Wilke of Wausau said. He's been growing corn for 35 years.

He told us many of his stalks are higher than six feet tall now, which is good for this time of year.

But that's not the case everywhere in the state.

"You get south of here, Portage and down south, that corn is really tough."

Wilke said that's because hot temperatures have been taking a toll.

"When it gets over about 85 degrees, the corn actually stops growing," he said. The month of July is critical for farmers.

"You need the rain and the moisture so that when it does pollinate it continues to make the cobb."

Farmers in the southern part of the state are battling even warmer weather and some say that is making growing vegetables tough. The biggest impact of that: higher prices.

Things are worse in Illinois and Indiana where extreme heat is wilting farm fields.

According to agricultural experts, only 48 percent of the country's corn crop is in good or excellent condition causing prices to soar 37 percent since mid-June.

"We are watching the prices. For us, we sell a lot of corn so the higher the prices the better I like it, but on the other hand those guys are suffering," Wilke said.

For now, he said his 475 acres of corn are looking good, but that could change.

"You make sure that everything is right for the crop to grow, but mother nature decides it's not going to's just a gamble."



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