Dane County exec asks Walker to expedite federal disaster declaration

With the drought worsening, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi has asked Gov. Scott Walker to expedite a federal disaster declaration in light of the severe drought conditions farmers have endured in Dane County and across the state.

In a letter to Walker, Parisi wrote, “This drought is affecting the livelihoods of many families – agriculture is a more than $3 billion part of our Dane County economy. People don’t often realize that while Dane County has the urban center of Madison, there are also 400 operating dairy farms in our county. Some of these farmers have already expressed concern that if their crops don’t develop and they are forced to buy feed this winter, they will likely have to sell their herds and cease dairy production.”

On July 9, Walker declared a state of emergency in 42 Wisconsin counties, including Dane County. At the same time, he authorized the DNR to expedite farmers’ requests to irrigate crops with stream and lake water.

Parisi’s request comes on the same day that the United States Drought Monitor upgraded Dane County’s drought condition to “severe.” Since June 1, Madison has received just 0.31 inches of rain.

The state of Wisconsin has established a drought resource page at the following link:

http://dnr.wi.gov/emergency/drought/ <http://dnr.wi.gov/emergency/drought