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Another dry summer means area farmers wait, wonder

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Ellsworth, 54011
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

Location, location, location--a concept usually associated with realtors--also seems to be governing farmers' fortunes in the fields this summer.

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Like last year at this time, the little rain that's recently fallen has been spotty, at best. So some area farmers' crops are faring better than others, though all are jeopardized by the ongoing heat and drought.

"I've heard some farmers say they're just waiting for the hail storm," Soil Conservationist Jon Krauss of the Pierce County Land Conservation Department said Thursday, telling a suspicion they might come out ahead if they collected on hail damage insurance.

Krauss hasn't traveled the entire region in the past few months, but has gotten reports indicating rainfall amounts are inconsistent. He said on his 210 acres north of Ellsworth (125 of which are in crops), the last rain totaled one-tenth of an inch, while the Spring Valley vicinity received up to a half-inch at the same time. Still, there wasn't much rainfall in the Lund area, he understood.

"Yesterday, down along the river, there was probably more (rain)," he said about a storm moving out of the Twin Cities Wednesday that appeared threatening, yet produced sparse moisture locally.

Personal records the conservationist kept show his place had three-tenths of an inch of rain on July 8, around an inch-and-a-half over two events on June 20 and 26, and 65-hundredths of an inch on June 18. Meantime, he was told Pierce County Farm Service Agency Director Linda Paul had two one-inch rains in a row in late June on her property near Baldwin.

"For many farmers around here, one more halfway decent rain would do it," Krauss said of the chances to realize a good corn crop.

Read more in the print version of the Herald July 25.

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