For the second year in a row, Wisconsin farmers are being allowed to harvest hay and graze cattle on state-owned properties.
Governor Scott Walker allowed the practice last year to help farmers survive one of the worst droughts in decades. Now, the state D-N-R says farmers can take hay, and let their cattle roam for free, in parts of 32 counties where a state-of-emergency was declared for last month’s flooding – and where disaster areas were declared for crop winter-kill caused by this year’s long winter. D-N-R Secretary Cathy Stepp says the move should help farmers deal with shortages of feed on their own lands. They can use no more than 20 acres. D-N-R staffers have identified about 300 fields to be used, totaling over 53-hundred acres. To take advantage of the program, Stepp says they’ll need to sign agreements promising they will not sell the feed they generate off the state properties.