Northland Farmers Coping with Impacts of Too Much Rainfall

Taylor Holt
September 06, 2017 09:50 PM

An overcast but dry Wednesday morning on Litchke Farms in Superior. Farm owner, Chris Litchke says it's been one of the rare days for getting work done.

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"The frequency of the rain has been unprecedented in terms of any of the 30 plus years five farmed," said Litchke.

Too much rain this season has caused flooding and soil issues affecting livestock.

"It seems like my wife and I, every other day are working with a cow that might have a bad hoof that is precipitated by this ground that just will not firm up," said Litchke.

The biggest issue, however a loss of drying days for hay.

"We were not able to make any dry hay which of course represents for most farmers 100 percent of most farmer's entire feed,"Litchke added.

Because of that right now, he's traveling to Minnesota to make his forage.

"The soil is a different type of soil that allows you to stay on top of it all and get something harvested," Litchke said.

Luckily, he has equipment to deal with baling the wet hay but not every farmer in the area does.

"Even if your fortunate enough to own something of this nature (this equipment), if you don't have a real firm substrate, this would not even work," Litchke said.

The issues of rainfall have taken a toll on the farming population. Litcke says his only saving grace in surviving is his meat processing business. 

"We are attempting to sell everything we raise here (at the farm),"Litchke added. "I just would like to encourage the public in general to support farmers because they are going to go away. They are all going to go away, if we don't."

As for the future, Chris like other remaining farmers in the area aren't letting those obstacles stop them.

"What keeps all of us trying to fight mother nature and persist with this seemingly losing battle is the fact that it's the passion for animals and the passion to want to make a difference in the world," said Litchke.


Taylor Holt

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