Cool summer weather could impact crop production - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Cool summer weather could impact crop production

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This recent blast of chilly weather is causing some concern on farms across north central Wisconsin.

"It's just been the cool temperatures that have held the crops back probably seven to ten days from what would be considered a normal year," said Jim Okray, owner of Okray's Potato Farm in Plover. "Mainly it was a late start to the planting season for us."

But experts say the weather is starting to come around.

"Of course in the sandy areas, we get these occational rains, and that's great," said Ken Schroeder, the Portage County UW-Extension Agriculture Agent. "Things have calmed down a fair amount; we haven't gotten the heavy rains like some other areas of the state."

The cooler temperatures have brought some postives. Experts say it's helped keep away most of the bugs, and the soil of Portage County played well to farmers' advantage.

"Fortunately for us on the sandy side, the easter portion of Portage County can take that," said Schroeder. "But again we haven't had the heavy rains that other parts of the state have had, so we're in good shape."

"If it gets too cool and wet, you can have an uptake in disease pressure, so that's not good either," said Okray. "We'd just rather take the sunshine and put the water on when we need it, and let them grow."

"In the end I think things will play out pretty well. If you look back, it's a year not unlike last year, 2013, where things got a little bit delayed in planting, but in the end things came out okay," said Schroeder.

Since the summer months have been a little bit cooler than what we're used to, farmers are hopeful that the fall months will be a lot warmer.

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