KENOSHA, Wis (SPECTRUM NEWS) - A wet, cold spring is now taking a toll on crop farmers across Wisconsin.
"This batch we planted about June 5 and we couldn't plant any sooner because it was just too wet," says Joe Smith of his corn crops. His family has owned Jerry Smith Produce and Pumpkin Farm for 30 years.
"Dad's 78-years-old and he still does most of the planting," Joe says.
This year, however, a rainy, cold spring hit their crops and revenue hard.
"We missed planting the sweet corn so thatʼs $10 to $20,000 and then weʼre missing markets so itʼs many thousands of dollars," he says.
Smith is not alone. Joe Lauer is a corn agronomist with the University of Wisconsin- Madison. He calls this growing season unprecedented.
"We have records that go back to 1979, so 50 years of planting progress data and this year is off the charts in terms of how late it is," says Lauer. "It hasnʼt been the amount of rain, but the frequency of the rain, so itʼs enough to keep people out of the fields for two or three days and then we get another rain for two or three days."
The USDA has provided some hope for crop farmers. They're allowed to plant what's been flooded out and harvest it for silage.
"I'm going to just roughly guess about 10 to 20 percent of the acres mostly on the east dime of the state especially up towards Green Bay have been flooded out," says Lauer.
Joe Smith says it's not just the corn he's worried about.
"Everything is late and we should be picking a lot more right now between red beets, zucchini, and pickles," he says. "It could be financially terrible for a lot of farmers."
He adds the only thing he can do now is hope for a late frost.
"That's all we can do."
Corn is a massive money maker for the Badger state.
The Wisconsin Corn Growers Association reports farmers grow the vegetable over about 3-million acres per year.
As of 2015, exports of corn and corn products brought in just over $735 million dollars to the state.
Lauer says agriculture officials should know how this season has faired overall by the first of September.