Hokah, MN (WXOW)-- Weather officials are calling it the worst drought in a quarter of a decade. More than 1000 counties across the US have been declared disaster areas, with much of Wisconsin still under drought warnings.
"I look out the window, first thing in the morning and see what's happening," said Germain Davison, a corn farmer. "It's a sorrowful thing to see a crop fail."
Germain Davison owns a 600-acre farm and has for more than 40 years. At 91, he doesn't tend to the crop himself, instead he rents it to his son.
"He insured it," Davison said. "And he went further than I ever did and I criticized him, last winter for doing that. And now, I take that criticism all back because he's going to do a lot better than I would have."
Davison estimates he's already lost about 20 percent of his crop
"Certainly there will be some loss. Our proven yield is between 165 and 175 bushels per acre."
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates the corn crop will average just 146 bushels an acre, down 20 bushels from the June estimate.
"Everything is tangled up this year because of the weather pattern, and it started last fall. We had an almost dry winter with out almost any snow," Davison said.
Walking through the fields, you can see the damage the drought has already done, with cracks in the ground and leaves beginning to dry up.
"This week, if we don't get rain, those lower leaves will start firing and they'll dry off," Davison said. "And it's already happening some places."
And the impact of a drought stems beyond the farmers who harvest the crops. The decreased production means increased prices for everyone at the grocery store.
Davison says this next week will be critical for his crop and he says he hopes we get significant rainfall. Although Davison also says he's grateful to an extent because our area is currently better off than parts of southern Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois.
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