Change in the weather may help some farmers
Jesse Ritka reportsPhoto: Video by tmj4.com
ALLENTON - The Federal Government will spend up to $170 million on buying pork, lamb, chicken and catfish to help farmers and ranchers impacted by the drought. The meat will be used to stock food pantries and other federal food programs.
But the cooler and wetter weather is also lending a helping hand to many local farmers in southeast Wisconsin.
Brandon Dykema raises all natural poultry and beef, he tells TODAY'S TMJ4's Jesse Ritka the change in the weather is long overdue, "It's picked up our pastures that were really dry."
The Dykema's Dominion Valley Farm is more than thankful for the four inches of rain we've picked up over the last month. Their entire feeding pasture had been brown since May, but just in the last two weeks, the grass and pastures have bounced back to life. "They were almost dead and so a lot of our animals eat pasture, it's either part of their diet or all of their diet, so it's really important to us," says Dykema.
They lost several dozen chickens to the heat, but this change in the weather came just in time for their livestock as well as the family business. "I don't think we're going to see that many changes, maybe some changes in prices in the upcoming future, but we've still got enough product for all our customers," says Tammera Dykema.
Even with all the green we've seen across southeast Wisconsin, the drought is still a concern for the family farm, the Dykemas buy feed from their neighbor, "He noticed a lot of changes with his crop, so he's probably not going to be able to offer us as much grain as we need, so we may need to go elsewhere."
Elsewhere is just hard to find during the worst drought in five decades.
"Sometimes you just have to go week by week," explains Brandon Dykema. But while the cooler and wetter weather has made a dramatic change in the landscape, there is still a long way to go to alleviate the drought conditions. We are still roughly three inches below average on rainfall this summer.