Flash flooding Monday impacts northwest Wisconsin farmers

Monday’s band of severe storms in northwestern Wisconsin brought flash flooding to some fields.  There are reports of more than eight inches of rain in the Ellsworth and Baldwin areas. 

Tom Gilles farms near the Kinnikinnic River northeast of River Falls. He says, “We have the hardest hit with as much as eight and nine inches of rain as well, so we weren’t only dealing with our water, we were dealing with a lot of the watershed area water.”

Gilles says the river rose more than eight feet after the storm, washing out the bridges leading to his home and flooding around 40 acres of corn and soybeans. “We had shoulder-high corn or a little better, and the water was that deep. It was right to the top of the corn in spots.”

Wisconsin Soybean Board President Tony Mellenthin farms about 50 miles east of Gilles. “I kid you not, where I live, the rain gauge said 2.6 and there a neighbor two miles northwest of me that had over six inches.”

Mellenthin tells Brownfield most of the nearly three thousand acres they farm is safe along the Red Cedar River, but he’s concerned about nearly 30 acres of low ground along the Chippewa River.

Both Gilles and Mellenthin say the corn and soybeans look very good so far this year, and Mellenthin says with the hot forecast, his four to six-foot corn will look even better in a week or so. 

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