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Wisconsin farming: a continuous battle with mother nature

RINGLE, Wisc. (WAOW) — The most recent round of storms to hit North Central Wisconsin is the latest struggle in a season-long battle for farmers.

After severe storms on Friday night, James Jeudes was expecting a calm Saturday. He said he was milking cows early Saturday morning when he noticed they were fidgeting and acting strangely.

“Animals have that sixth sense, they know when something is happening,” said Jeudes.

Suddenly, another severe storm began to move through his farm in Ringle. “I could feel the barn moving as the wind was blowing,” he said. He and his cows were stuck in the barn as they waited for the storm to pass.

“It makes things even worse,” said Heather Schlesser, Dairy Agent for U.W. Extension Marathon County. “With the low milk prices, the wet spring that we’ve had and the hard time they’ve been having to get stuff in… they don’t need extra losses on top of it.”

A weekly report from the USDA showed farms were saturated with over five inches of rain last week in Clark, Price and Taylor Counties. They also note crop damage from excessive winds and tornadoes in Waupaca County.

James Jeudes said he’s even had difficulty with his dairy cows in Marathon County.

Dairy Agent Schlesser explained that loud noises like thunder and howling winds can frighten cows and make it difficult to produce milk.

So, for Wisconsin farmers (and their cows), a break in the weather would bring much-needed relief.

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Tom Lally

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