Weather Forecast


Heat takes its toll on humans, livestock and crop

The hot summer of 2012 has taken it's toll across the state from crops to animals to humans.

After Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker toured farms in Burlington and Dodgeville, he met with farm groups and others to assess what might be done to those hammered by the drought. Many Wisconsin producers are losing crops and facing a shortage of feed for their cattle and dairy cows. Southern Wisconsin is experiencing the work drought conditions seen in more than 20 years. Walker viewed damaged fields from one thousand feet in a Blackhawk helicopter. He is trying to lessen the impact on Wisconsin's $60 billion agriculture industry.

State officials are reporting more than a thousand dairy calves have died due to heat stress over the last two-to-three weeks. More than half of the herds hit by those heat stress deaths are in Wisconsin, although an exact number of deaths in the state isn't known right now. All the calves were between two and seven days old and had been kept in outdoor hutches with no shade. Experts say calves younger than 10 days old drink little water. Officials say the calves were either weakened by heat stress and died from bacterial infection, or they became dehydrated and died of heat stroke.

The Dane County Health Department has confirmed the death of a 73-year old Madison man was heat-related. The man died in an apartment with no air conditioning available two and a half weeks ago. The state's list of heat-related deaths in July has 10 names on it. Another dozen deaths in Wisconsin could be heat-related. La Crosse and Barron counties each have two heat-related deaths, while Dane, Juneau, Richland, Rock, Vernon and Kewaunee have one.