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Drought causing fewer animals, smaller vegetables at county fairs


WEST ALLIS, WI (WTAQ) - Judges are seeing fewer animals and smaller vegetables at many of this summer’s county fairs throughout Wisconsin.

And the same thing could happen at the State Fair, because of the long drought that continues despite a slight and spotty increase in rain over the past couple weeks.

The Wisconsin State Fair begins on Thursday in West Allis. And champion pig exhibitor Greg Marzahl of Oxford said he and his daughter will bring about a dozen animals this time. His pigs are around 5 percent lighter than normal – and he blames the summer-long heat and dry spell for the smaller appearances and appetites.

UW Extension agent David Laatsch says he’s seen fewer and smaller animals at the county fairs he has judged. He said a number of cows may have stayed home due to heat stress.

Vegetable and flower entries were down by about two-thirds at this month’s Dane County Fair.

Meanwhile, forecasters expect another warm and dry week in much of Wisconsin. The National Weather Service says a weak cold front will bring a small chance of showers Monday in northern and central areas, and it will cause temperatures in southern Wisconsin to return to the 90’s.

High pressure is behind the system – and only slight chances of rain are predicted for the rest of the week.