Melting snow rehydrating farmland - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Melting snow rehydrating farmland

JANESVILLE (WKOW) -- It's difficult to tell there was a drought on Doug Rebout's farm only a year before.

The runoff from the melting snow is running rapidly through the low-lying areas of his farm in Janesville.

"Snow is great. We're getting moisture in the ground," Doug Rebout said.

Rebout said his family farm made about $2 million less in corn last season than in a normal year.  

On March 21, the National Weather Service said the drought ended over southern Wisconsin because of increased snowfall this winter.

"It's hard to say if the drought is over or not. We did get a little bit more snow this year than what we've been getting the last few years. But we lost so much groundwater last year that it takes a lot to replenish it," Rebout said. 

Assistant state climatologist Ed Hopkins also says it's too early to tell if the winter snow made a big enough dent in last season's drought.

"We are close. There are some areas of southern Wisconsin we're probably pretty good, but there are some areas that we are still somewhat shy on," Hopkins said, warning that the coming few weeks will be crucial to the start of the growing season.

"We need adequate rain, timely rain. Both of them. We'd like to have an inch of rain per week," Hopkins said.

Rebout hopes this year will be a return to a usual growing season, regardless of the extended winter.

"I'll take any moisture I can get whether it's snow or rain. Just some heat with the timely rains and we'll have a great year," Rebout said.

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