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Gov. Walker Declares State of Emergency for Drought Conditions

Farmers can receive expedited permits to use streams and lakes for irrigation.

It might not come as a surprise, but 42 counties in Wisconsin are officially considered in drought, including Ozaukee, Milwaukee, Racine and Waukesha counties.

Gov. Scott Walker declared Monday a state of emergency because of the dry conditions. The declaration allows for expedited permits for farmers to temporarily use stream or lake water for irrigation, according to a news release.

The lakes and streams must be inspected within 72 hours of the request to ensure that fish and aquatic life will not be harmed by the diversion, the release states. Farmers are encouraged to report crop conditions to the U.S. Farm Service Agency office.

"The lack of rainfall since May in the southern half of the state has hit hard in a crucial part of the growing season," Walker said.  "Wisconsin Agricultural Statistics Service reports this week that most of the land in these counties is short or very short of soil moisture, and this week's U.S. Drought Monitor for the first time reported the southern tiers of Wisconsin counties to be in drought.”

Locally, the dry condition has impacted local farmers. A handful of vendors attending the didn’t come to the market last Saturday because of a lack of produce, according to John Ward with the Waukesha Business Improvement District. It was the first time that occurred this year.

“It hasn’t been too bad yet, but we will see as it keeps going,” Ward said.

The farmers’ market , which means there were still many vendors last Saturday. The ones that stayed home on Saturday will be back depending on the weather conditions; others are coming back no matter what, according to Ward.

Agriculture accounts for $59 billion to the state’s economy and 354,000 jobs, Walker said in the release.

“It's a vital sector of our economy that we need to protect," Walker said.

Also from the release: 

Farmers can also turn to the Wisconsin Farm Center, housed in the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.  The Farm Center staff can provide referrals and information about available services, including such things as finding feed, financial planning assistance, and mediation between farmers and creditors.  Farmers can call the center toll-free at 1-800-942-2474, or email farmcenter@wisconsin.gov.  The center is staffed 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

jbw July 10, 2012 at 03:13 AM
I don't know why we need to form up two polarized teams to fight battles over global warming in the first place. Any decent scientist can tell you about the geological history of North America including clear indications of decades long periods of heat and drought centuries before our nation was formed. Some natural cycles are thousands of years long. For our actions today, it's completely irrelevant whether a particular global warming theory is correct. Would be a such a terrible thing for us to plan ahead a little and be ready to handle extreme weather and potential climate changes, regardless of what may or may not cause them? But no, it seems to be about ignorant egotistical fools bickering over who wins more political points on the "global warming issue" than it is about having common-sense plans in place for how to handle a drought (which has happened before, you know, the term "drought" wasn't invented by climate change scientists in the 1990's).
James R Hoffa July 10, 2012 at 03:24 AM
@Bucky - You must have missed the title to this article - "Gov. Walker Declares State of Emergency for Drought Conditions."
Mark Czerniec July 10, 2012 at 03:25 AM
Naturally, some are always slower to recognize a crisis than others. But it's irritating that an elected official would both deny the problem and seek federal help to mitigate it.
James R Hoffa July 10, 2012 at 03:29 AM
@Mark - Are you honestly dissing the bus manufacture discussion? How exactly has Scott Walker "oppose[d] efforts to address this crisis," and what exactly can he do as a Governor that would satisfy your concerns regarding this issue of global warming?
Mark Czerniec July 10, 2012 at 03:37 AM
@FakeName: Scott Walker made a big show of opposing global warming legislation backed by Mayor Tom Barrett and Governor Jim Doyle. Also, if you have not heard, Scott Walker will be the featured speaker to the climate-change-denying Heartland Institute on August 9.
Keith Schmitz July 10, 2012 at 03:42 AM
Just like every other issue with the right, it has nothing to do with the topic, but is around their idea that the Democrats came up with it. I love Romneycare.
Keith Schmitz July 10, 2012 at 03:44 AM
Greg, your questions are indicative of someone who cares less about meteorology, and more about what is being fed to them, kind of like Jim Ott. A few minutes on Google will answer those questions, if you could only pry yourself away from this blog.
James R Hoffa July 10, 2012 at 03:53 AM
@Mark - Your comment fails to show how the Doyle/Barrett legislation would have combated global warming. Personally, I support a comprehensive nuclear energy program, similar to that in use by the French!
James R Hoffa July 10, 2012 at 03:54 AM
@Schmitzy - Once again, you're right on time with your completely meaningless comments!
Greg July 10, 2012 at 04:06 AM
I just firmly believe that prosperity in the U.S. will lead to environmentalism worldwide. The left hides behind feel good regulations and programs, that have yet to be proven to do anything for our environment. These are implemented at any cost, then they do not practice what they preach. Air Force One doesn't run on D cells ya know. I never said that I do not agree there is climate change, I just take exception to those that relate every weather change to a global warming crisis.
Greg July 10, 2012 at 04:22 AM
"Obama's focus on the Colorado fires came at the end of an eventful week at the White House capped by Thursday's Supreme Court decision upholding Obama's health care law and congressional passage of two Obama priorities -- a highway construction bill and an extension of lower student loan rates. Obama acknowledged that choosing the fires as the topic of his Saturday address was unusual, but said it was an opportunity to focus on the problem facing the people of Colorado." Strange, his week was not filled with environmental issues. He was not talking about harvesting the trees, to prevent the wildfires. He did not talk about how the smoke from the wild fires is a major contributor to greenhouse gasses.
Keith Schmitz July 10, 2012 at 11:49 AM
Meaningless only to the ignorant Jimmy. From what I hear from my legion of fans -- all of whom are intelligent -- they get it.
Robert B. July 10, 2012 at 12:15 PM
Haven't you been paying attention? Almost every post on this site gets political comments no matter what the subject.
Mark Czerniec July 10, 2012 at 12:24 PM
The dictionary defines politics as "the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area." The story is about administrative action taken by Wisconsin's governor in his governing of the area known as Wisconsin. It is, by definition, a political story.
GearHead July 10, 2012 at 12:35 PM
You're a legend in your own mind, Schmitz!
Bob McBride July 10, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Bren has their acquaintances and relatives and Keith's got a legion of fans. So what have you got, JRH? (Doesn't have to be verifiable. Just pull something out of where the sun don't shine and go with that.) BTW, I'd like to suggest someone find out where Scott Walker had lunch last Thursday so we can debate the political implications of that, next.
Bren July 10, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Mr. Hoffa, that 70% domestic parts content proves that the salesman wasn't wrong, doesn't it. Actually my current vehicle is a Toyota Camry assembled in the U.S., which I accepted as partial payment for consulting work. Concerning the buses, I'll accept your word. I'm sure the intern who ordered Obama's campaign bus didn't think about where it was made. If you wish to believe that Romney is capable of creating jobs, do so, even though his numerous offshore accounts (Ireland, Cayman Islands, Bermuda, etc.) suggest that investing in the U.S. economy isn't Priority #1. Regardless, let's hope for rain soon.
jt July 10, 2012 at 01:10 PM
maybe people in this state need to put away the politics that divide us and help one another out! maybe then, god will send the rain when he sees that were actually being civilized again.
Bren July 10, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Brian, Scott Walker is touring the U.S. and was in NY last night helping others get their "fiscal house in order." That's the simple, verifiable truth. Instead of mocking the ill you should just verify the story.
Bren July 10, 2012 at 01:21 PM
It's true that our continent has weather shifts (temperature, drought, etc.). But surface temperatures are affected/warmed in heavily cemented areas and metal surfaces, which is why cities are warmer than rural areas.
superdavefive July 10, 2012 at 05:32 PM
@ Greg - Shocked that someone stayed on topic. Your political ramblings are getting old. Go troll somewhere else.
Keith Schmitz July 10, 2012 at 06:07 PM
I knew that legion of fans comment would yank McBride's chain.
Bob McBride July 10, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Your stupidity is always hard to resist, Keith.
Greg July 10, 2012 at 06:50 PM
OK, but only because you asked so nicely.
James R Hoffa July 10, 2012 at 07:06 PM
@Bren - A Toyota Camry - not very American. First off, Toyota is a foreign company, thus most of the profits from the sale of such vehicles go overseas. And yet, you have a problem with Romney's overseas investments! Although Toyota has increased their domestic parts content considerably, most Toyota engines and transmissions still come from Japan. And while they may be assembled here in the US, they are done so with non-unionized labor in places that you like to refer to as right-to-work-for-less states and are very resistant to unionization. What happened to walking your talk Bren? Your choice of car appears to directly contradict everything that you've ever espoused on the Patch boards. SHAME on you Bren! Hoffa at least walks his talk in all aspects of his life! Obama should have personally made sure that the buses he ordered were made here, especially considering that the order was made a month before his big jobs speech! It also didn't help having jobs czar Jeffrey Immelt in his box at that speech, after Immelt had just announced the off-shoring of two major GE divisions to China! At least when Carter held the White House and pushed for green energy, he actually had solar panels installed on the roof. Carter was a man who walked his talk. But Obama hasn't walked his talk since getting elected, so how can you continue to support such a 'do as I say but not as I do' President? Why didn't Obama insist that the ACA apply to all federally elected officials Bren?
James R Hoffa July 10, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Romney has shown time and again that he is able to wear different pants, appropriate for the job that he's undertaking at the time. Yes, let's hope for rain soon!
Chris Larsen July 10, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Farmers on Braun Road have been sucking water out of Pike's creek for a couple of weeks now, way before this came down.
James R Hoffa July 10, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Hoffa has been graced with the power and insight of divinity ever since his immaculate conception! Schmitzy may have a legion of fans, but Hoffa has worshipers! Is that enough of the commentary from my ass? As to the issue of global warming, I don't think that any of us have personally studied it enough to intelligently comment as to such! Even in science, it's only just a theory until concrete enough to become a law. Theories are proven wrong every day. It's in properly testing these theories that we learn. And the learning is more important than the eventual law that we arrive at. "Imagination is more important than knowledge"
Mark Czerniec July 10, 2012 at 07:23 PM
The arctic ice cap will soon be gone.
Gregory Kluck July 10, 2012 at 10:16 PM
On climate change, yes, the climate goes through cycles. It's been doing that since time began. The 30s blizzards and dust bowl drought was brought up. I've seen those photos of cities under many feet of snow and people shoveling pathways taller than themselves from their homes. My grandparents told me the stories of the time. Ivé seen and studied books about the dust bowl years and the migration of many unemployed to the West. As far as being able to do anything about it? I don't think we can. Some say to end dependence on fossil fuels, others say downsize industrial centers. Oh yes, we can have all our stuff made elsewhere but it is still the same planet and climate cycles travel the globe. Someone here stated that cities are naturally warmer because of the reflective ability of steel, glass, cement and pavement. Short of tearing cities down and covering them with dirt, I do not believe people can force the climate to change for the worse or better in the current time. A volcano erupting causes more strange weather than the cars and factories of man. Even electric cars require a plant to produce its energy and to manufacture them.

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