FREEDOM, Wis. (WFRV) - Parts of northeast Wisconsin have already seen nearly three times as much snow as this time last year. It's a good sign for farmers, as long as it stays put.
Don Gehring checked on his crop of winter wheat Friday afternoon. The Town of Freedom farmer has about 25 acres of the crop. He said he doesn't mind digging out after a big storm.
"When you see the snow banks around," Gehring said. "you know there's going to be moisture out there this spring."
Gehring, who also farms corn and soybeans, said last year's drought conditions made for a slightly smaller crop. But he's got high hopes for this season.
"When we come into spring for the thawing and freezing conditions that we get, the snow will sure help us," he explained.
As long as the snow sticks around. According to Ag experts, northeast Wisconsin is technically out of its drought. However, that could change if temperatures warm too quickly.
"We want precipitation to fall, but we want it to stay in the form of snow, to stay on the surface, to insulate the ground below and stay there until we get to the end of March here when that stuff should normally be going away," Kevin Jarek, an Ag Agent with Outagamie County UW-Extension said.
Jarek said some of the freezing rain and melting conditions we've seen so far this winter need to stop so the snow pack can continue to grow.
"The reality is, if Mother Nature would just make up her mind and say okay, winter is January, February and March," he explained. "Then we could just figure out how things would go from there. We'd all be happy."
"We just hope that the snow will stick around until late March," added Gehring.
Jarek said the best weather for a plentiful growing season is more snow and temperatures near or below freezing until spring.