Minnesota News

Rain brings drought to end in most of Wisconsin

Conditions easing in Minn.

MILWAUKEE (AP) - The latest weekly update from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows less than 13 percent of the Wisconsin in drought, although another 14 percent is still considered abnormally dry. More than 60 percent of the state was in drought at the start of the year.

But the rain also is creating planting delays for some farmers.

Kevin Malchine grows corn, soybeans and wheat on about 2,100 acres in southern Wisconsin. Some of his land in a watershed is covered in several feet of water after about 10 inches of rain in the past two weeks.

Malchine said Thursday he's not worried yet, however, because with some warm weather, he can still get his corn in by mid-May.

Most of Minnesota is still in a drought but recent snow and rain have helped ease conditions. The U.S. Drought Monitor shows just over half of the state is in a drought, down from nearly 67 percent last week. Conditions could improve more as recent snow starts to melt.

Many farmers are still waiting for that. Some who were done planting corn by this time last year haven't even started this year.

Sandy Ludeman, of Tracy, said Thursday that his ground is still covered with snow. But he's not worried yet because if he can get his corn in by the end of May, he'll be OK. New crop varieties make it possible for farmers to switch to corn with shorter growing times if needed.

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