Severe drought will impact us all - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Severe drought will impact us all

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WISCONSIN RAPIDS (WAOW) -

It's been a long time since we've seen any significant amount of rain and dozens of counties across the state are suffering from severe drought.

Many farms say we'll all be paying for the effects of mother nature.

"I can say Lord we need rain, please," farmer Harold Alternburg told Newsline 9, and he means it.

"You get a couple of years like this in a row and it could diminish our food supply drastically," he said.

Altenburg has been farming in Wisconsin Rapids for more than 40 years and he said this is one of the driest years he's ever seen.

"You can see how the plants will just wilt up," he said pointing to some squash.

And the wilting plants will hit everyone where it hurts: at the grocery store. Corn prices are set to soar setting in motion a chain of rising commodities prices.

Agricultural experts say in the past week, around ten percent of the corn crop has been destroyed. They're expecting the smallest corn crop in ten years.

"Down the line you're going to be paying more no matter what kind of weather we get next year," Altenburg said.

The drought is also hitting the livestock industry, driving up prices and threatening farmers' livelihoods.

"Feed is going up very much in price cause we're expecting corn and the things we feed cattle to become very expensive and so those cattle prices are being drastically reduced," Wood County Extension Agent Matt Lippert said.

Altenburg said he's making it work. "You just do what you've got to do."He said that means watering often, even though it's expensive. He's hoping to make it up somewhere else and that some rain will come soon.

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