Drought impact and perception among Wisconsin dairy farmers

Citation
Drought impact and perception among Wisconsin dairy farmers

Material Information

Title:
Drought impact and perception among Wisconsin dairy farmers preliminary summary of survey results
Series Title:
Quick response research report ;
Creator:
Cross, John Alden, 1951-
University of Colorado, Boulder -- Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center
University of Colorado, Boulder -- Institute of Behavioral Science
Place of Publication:
Boulder, Colo
Publisher:
Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center, University of Colorado
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
34 p. : ; 28 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Droughts -- Economic aspects -- Wisconsin ( lcsh )
Dairy farmers -- Attitudes -- Wisconsin ( lcsh )
Economic conditions -- Wisconsin ( lcsh )
Genre:
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (p. 21).
Additional Physical Form:
Also issued online as part of a joint project with the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI) Research Library’s disaster mental health initiative.
General Note:
Cover title.
General Note:
"Institute of Behavioral Science #6."
Statement of Responsibility:
John A. Cross.

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
001985180 ( ALEPH )
39083339 ( OCLC )
F57-00025 ( USFLDC DOI )
f57.25 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Drought impact and perception among Wisconsin dairy farmers :
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John A. Cross.
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Boulder, Colo. :
Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center, University of Colorado,
1989.
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34 p. ;
28 cm.
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Quick response research report ;
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Cover title.
"Institute of Behavioral Science #6."
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Also issued online as part of a joint project with the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI) Research Librarys disaster mental health initiative.
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Droughts
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z Wisconsin.
Dairy farmers
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University of Colorado, Boulder.
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NaturalHazardsResearchandApplicationsInformationCenterCampusBox482UniversityofColoradoBoulder,Colorado80309DROUGHTIMPACTANDPERCEPTIONAMONGWISCONSINDAIRYFARMERS:PRELIMINARYSUMMARYOFSURVEYRESULTSJOHNA.CROSS1989QUICKRESPONSERESEARCHREPORT#30This ublication is part of the Natural Hazards &Applications Information ongoing Quick Response Research Report Senes. http://W'N'Ncoiorado.edu/hazards InstituteofBehavioralScience#6 (303)492TELEFAX:(303)492

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DROUGHTIMPACTANDPERCEPTION AMONG WISCONSINDAIRYFARMERS:PRELIMINARYSUMMARYOFSURVEYRESULTSQuick-ResponseProjectReporttotheNaturalHazardsResearchandApplicationsInformationCenterUniversityofColorado,BoulderJohnA.CrossDepartmentofGeographyUniversityofWisconsin-OshkoshOshkosh,Wisconsin54901October 5, 1989FundingforthissurveywasprovidedbytheNaturalHazardsResearchandApplicationsInformationCenteroftheUniversityofColorado,Boulder,throughtheirquick-responseresearchprogram.Anyopinions,conclusions,orrecommendationsexpressedinthisreportarethoseoftheauthoranddonotnecessarilyreflecttheviewsofthefundingagency.

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DROUGHTIMPACTANDPERCEPTIONAMONGWISCONSINDAIRYFARMERS:PRELIMINARY SUMMARY OFSURVEYRESULTSJohnA.CrossDepartmentofGeographyUniversityofWisconsin-OshkoshDroughtconditionswerefeltthroughoutWisconsinduringthesummerof 1988. causingthelossofapproximatelyhalfofthestate'shayandcorncrops.DuringSpring1989dairyfarmers,whocomprisenearlyhalfofWisconsin'sfarmers,facednotonlytheconsequencesofthesefeedlosses.buttheyalsofacedthepossibilityofcontinuingdroughtconditions.Thispreliminarypapersummarizesfindingsfromaquickresponsestudy.fundedbytheUniversityofColoradoHazardsCenter,whichsoughtinforma-tionconcerningtheimpactsofthe1988droughtatatimethatitwasexpectedthatmanydairymenwouldbeexperiencinghayandfeedgrainshortagesresultingfromthesubstantiallydiminished1988harvest.Atthesametimedatawereobtainedconcerningthesefarmers'perceptionsofthepossibilityfordroughtduringthesummerof1989andduringthe1990's.1988DroughtConditionsExtremedrought.conditionsoccurredwithinsixofWiscon-sin'snineagriculturalreportingdistrictsduringthesummerof 1988, whiletheremainingthreedistrictsexperiencedseveredroughtconditions(U.S.Dept.ofAgric.1988a).Precipitation1

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wasparticularlydeficientinMayand June, withoneoftheMilwaukeeweatherstationsreportingatotalof0.99i.nchesandGreenBayreportinga0.73inchtotal(11.6percentofnormal)forthetwomonths(U.S.Dept.ofCommerce1988).AlthoughportionsofeasternWisconsinreceivedsignificantrainfallinAugustandSeptember,overhalfthestateexperiencedanannualprecipitationshortfallofatleastsixinches,withthesouthwesterncornerofWisconsinreceiving15inchesbelownormalprecipitationin1988(Clark1989a).Lancaster,Wisconsinfinishedtheyearwithonly17.58inchesofprecipitation(U.S.Dept.ofCommerce1988).The1988droughtandotherweatherhazardsresultedinanestimatedlossof50percentofthestate'scorn crop, 52percentofthecornsilage,66percentoftheoatharvest,.50percentofthealfalfahay,and65percentoftheothervarietiesofhay(U.S.Dept.ofAgric.1988b).Theactual1988cornharvestwas60percentbelowthe1987harvest,alfalfahaywasdown45percent,othervarietiesofhaywereoff44percent,andoatsweredown54percent(Wisc.Dept.ofAdministration1989).Furthermore,the1987harvestshadfallenfromevengreater1986harvests.Nevertheless,becauseoftheshortages,thedollarvalueofthe1988hayharvestexceededthatofthe1987harvestby18.2percent.Ontheotherhand,thecashvalueofthe1988corn(grain)harvestwasdownby48.9percentandtheoatharvestgenerated25.5percentlessrevenuethanin1987(Wisc.Agric.StatisticsService1989).Pressreportsduringwinterandearlyspring1989paintedableakpictureofconditionsfacingWisconsindairyoperators.2

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Largeproportionsoffarmershadeitherexhaustedtheirfeedorwereexpectedtodosobeforetheirnextharvest.AsurveycompletedbytheWisconsinAgriculturalStatisticsService(1988)byearlYNovember,1988determinedthat14percentofthestate'slivestockfarmers(dairy,cattle,andhog)expectedtohaveexhaustedtheirhaybyJanuary,42percentbyMarch,and74percentwouldbeoutofhaybyMay.Grainorgrainconcentratesupplieswereexpectedtobeexpendedon27percentofthefanmsbyJanuary,by47percentbyMarch,andon64percentbyMay. Haypriceshaddoubledortripled,withthepriceoftop-gradealfalfahayexceeding$200perton.Becauseoftheheatduring1988,aflatoxinhadcontaminatedthecornofsomefarmers.FreezingrainsduringJanuaryhadseriouslydamagedthealfalfafields.Furthermore,thethawingandfreezingofthesaturatedtopsoilinJanuary,togetherwithlittlesnowcoveranddeepfreezinginFebruary,ledtoanabruptmeltinginmidMarchwhichresultedinconsiderablerun-offandlittleinfiltrationofthewintermoistureintothesoil(Clark1989b).Precipitationduringthespringof1989waswellbelownormal,withmanyareasbyearlyMayhavingreceivedlessprecipitationsincethebeginningoftheyearthantheyhadreceivedbythesamedateduring1988.DuringApril1989,forexample,GreenBayreceived0.49inchesofprecipitation(18.3percentofnormalanditslowestrecordforthemonth)andMilwaukeereceived1.33inches--or39.7percentofnormal(U.S.Dept.ofCommerce1989).AlthoughwesternWisconsinreceivedoverhalfofitsnormalAprilprecipitation,droughtconditionswerereportedinseveralparts3

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ofWisconsinbyearlyMay.TheMay6,1989PalmerIndex(U.S.D.A.'sWeeklyWeatherandCropBulletin)indicatedthatseveredroughtexistedwithinsouthwesternWisconsin,moderatedroughtexistedincentralWisconsin,andmilddroughtexistedinfiveofthestate'sremainingsevenagriculturaldistricts.MethodologyInformationconcerningtheimpactsof the 1988droughtandtheresultingSpring1989hayandfeedshortages,aswellasthedairyfarmers'droughtperceptionsandmitigationeffortswereobtainedbytheuseoftwosurveys.AshortsurveywassenttoagriculturalextensionagentsthroughoutWisconsinrequestingdataontheirobservationsoffarmerswithintheirvariouscounties.Responseswerereceivedfrom39extensionagents,representingcoverageof56percentofWisconsin'scounties.Themainsurvey,May4,state.Theaneight-pagequestionnaire(SeeAppendix)wasmailedon1989,toasampleof506dairyoperatorsthroughoutthefarmerswhoreceivedthequestionnairewereselectedbyasystematicone-percentrandomsamplingfromanearlyApril1989WisconsinDepartmentofAgriculturelistingof35,611dairyoperatorswhoseherdshadpassedtheBrucellosisRingTest,requiredforallcommercialmilkproducerswithinthestate.WithinseveraloftheAgriculturalReportingDistricts,whichbecauseoftheirsmallsizehadfewrepresentatives,anadditionalonepercentofthefarmerswereselectedsothatdistricttodistrictcomparisonscouldbemade.Theinitialmailingofthesurveywithanaccompanyingcoverletterandbusinessreplyenvelopewas4

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followedbyareminderpost card, whichwasmailedonMay10.Thiscardthankedparticipantsandencouragedpersonswhohadnotyetrespondedtocompleteandreturnthesurvey.Personswhohadnotrespondedtotheinitialsurveyweremailedasecondcopyofthequestionnaire,a newcoverletter,andasecondbusinessreplyenvelopeonMay 24, 1989.Oftheinitialmailing,thepostofficereturnedtwobecauseofbadaddresses,twobecausetheaddresseewasdeceased,andthreewerereturned,indicatingthattheaddresseewasnolongerengagedindairying.Completedsurveyswerereceivedfrom283farmers,representing57percentoftheeligiblemembersofthesamplewhoreceivedthesurvey.Short-termDroughtPerceptionsSeventypercentofthefarmerssurveyedexpectedthatthesummerof1989wouldbedrierthannormal,with20percentanticipatinga"muchdrierthannormal"summer(Table1).Whenasked"HowlikelyisitthatyourareaofWisconsinwillhaveadroughtduringthesummerof1989?"16percentresponded"verylikely"and51percentindicated"likely"(Table2).Althoughthereweresomeregionalvariationsinperception,therewererespondentsanticipatingthatdroughtwasverylikelyineachofthestate'snineagriculturalreportingdistricts.However,farmerswithinthenortheastern,southeasternandsouthwesterndistrictsmostfrequentlyindicatedthata1989summerdroughtwasverylikely.Itisinterestingtonote that PalmerIndexfiguresduringthemiddleofthesummersomewhatcorroboratethefarmers'predictions.TheJuly 1, 1989PalmerIndex(V.S.D.A.WeeklyWeatherandCropBulletin)showedsouthwesternWisconsinashavingex-5

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tremedroughtconditions,southcentralWisconsinasexperiencingseveredrought,andbothsoutheasternandnorthwesternWisconsinashavingmoderatedrought.ByAugust 26, 1989severedroughtwasbeingreportedinnortheasternandnorthcentralWisconsin.whilesouthwesternWisconsinremainedinthegripsofanextremedrought.Farmerswereaskedtoexplainwhytheyexpectedthesummer1989weathertobewhattheypredicted.Themostcommonresponseswerebaseduponthefarmers'weatherobservationsduringthespring(51percent).Winterobservationswerecitedby6percent.Eightpercentofthefarmerscitedvariousweatherforecasts.Farmersexpectingadrysummer1989citedthe1988drought(5percent)orthattheywereexpectinga"cycleofbadyears"(8percent).The belief thatitwasunlikelytoexperiencetwoconsecutivedroughtyearswascitedby4percentofthefarmers,allwhoexpectedanormaltowettersummer1989.Variousmiscellaneousobservationswerecitedbytheremainingfarmers.Soilmoistureconditionswerereportedas"muchdrierthannormal"by50percentoftherespondents,withanadditional38percentindicatingthattheirsoilswere"slightlydrierthannormal".Withinonlyfouroftheninedistrictsdidanyfarmersreportthattheirsoilswerewetterthannormal.FarmerswithinnorthwesternWisconsinwereleastlikelytoclaimtheirsoilsweremuchdrierthannormal(30percent),whiledairyoperatorswithinnortheasternWisconsin(65percent)andsouthwesternWisconsin(64percent)weremostlikelytocitemuchdriersoils.6

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Heavyrains(uptosixinches)whichfellthroughoutwestcentral,central,eastcentralandsoutheasternWisconsinduringthelastfivedaysofMayincreasedtheproportionoffarmersexpectingnormalsummerprecipitation,buthadnoimpactupontheproportionoffarmersexpectinga"muchdrierthannormal"summerduring1989(Table3).AlthoughmostportionsofWisconsinhadreceivedlessthanthree-quartersoftheirnormalprecipitationintheperiodbetweenApril23-May 27, 1989,thedroughtlikelihoodperceptionsofthefarmersreturningtheirsurveysbeforethisprecipitationwerenotstatisticallydifferentfromthosewhorespondedaftertherains.(Itshouldbenotedthatthesecondmailingofthesurveywasmadejustbeforetheserainsbegan.)PrecipitationtotalsforJunewerelessthan50percentofnormalforhalfofWisconsin,withLaCrosseandMadisonreporting32and43percent,respectively,oftheirnormalJuneprecipitationtotals.BecausedryconditionsgenerallycontinuedthroughouttheMay-Juneperiodofthissurvey,nostatisticaldistinctionsaremadebaseduponthedateofresponse.Long-termDroughtPerceptionsAnotherdrought--assevereasthe1988drought--isexpectedwithinthenexttenyearsbynearlyhalfoftheWisconsindairyfarmerssurveyed(Table4).FarmerswithinsouthwesternandnortheasternWisconsinweremostlikelytoexpresssuchexpectations.Nineteenpercentofthedairyfarmersstatewideaffirmativelyansweredthequestion,"DoyouexpecttoexperienceadroughtinWisconsinwithinthenexttenyearswhichwillbemoreseverethanthe1988drought?"Thirty-sixpercentofthefarmers7

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indicatedthatadroughtsuchasoccurredin1988wouldbeexpectedatleastonceeverytenyears(Table5).actuallyasmallerproportionthanexpectedasimilardroughtinthe1990's.hintingthatmanyfarmersmaybelievethatclimateischanging.Whenaskedaboutwhattheythinktheweatherinthe1990swillbelikeincomparisonwiththe1980s.45percentfeltthatconditionswouldbewarmeranddrierthanthe1980s(Table6).Another7percentthoughttheweatherwouldbecooler.anddrier.With36percentofthedairYmenthinkingthatthe1990swouldbeunchangedfromthe1980s.only12percentexpectedthatthe1990swouldbewetter.OverhalftheWisconsindairyfarmerssurveyedhadnoexplanationforthe1988drought.Whenasked."WhatdoyouthinkcausedWisconsin'sdroughtin1988?"56percenteithergavenoreply.indicatedtheyhadnoidea.ormerelystatedthatthedroughtwascausedbecauseitwasdryorbecausetherewasnorain.Theresponsesoftheremaining44percentofthefarmerspointedtowardsadiversityofenvironmentalfactors.Sixteenpercentmentionedmovementsofthejetstreamorupperaircurrents.Fivepercentmentionedbynamethe"Greenhouseeffect,"withanadditional4percentdescribingairpollution.humanactivitiesupsettingthebalanceofnature.thelossorrainforests.orclimaticchange.Twopercentclaimedchangesintheoceantemperaturesandanothertwopercentexplicitlymentionedtheelnino.Two percent mentionedvolcanicactivityorthelackofsuchactivity.ThreepercentofthefarmersblamedthespaceprogramforthedroughtwhilefourpercentconsidereditanActofGod(aspunishmentforavarietyofsinsofmodernsociety).8

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DroughtPerceptionsinPerspectiveDroughtpossibilitieswereconsideredasa"majorproblem"facingdairyfarmersby36percentofthefarmerssurveyed,withanadditional43percentindicatingthatdroughtwas'"somewhataproblem"(Table7).Onlyone-fifthofthosesurveyedfeltthatdroughtwasonly a "minorproblem"or"notaproblematall."Innoagriculturalreportingdistrictdidlessthan25percentofthedairyfarmersviewdroughtpossibilitiesasamajorproblem,andwithinthesouthwesternandsouthcentraldistrictsdroughtwasrankedas a majorproblemby45and46percentoftherespondents,respectively.Droughtwasconsideredasbeingaproblemfacingdairyfarmersfarmoreoftenthanothernaturalhazards.Indeed,onlyfivepercentindicatedthathaildamageswereamajorproblem,andonly3percentstatedthatfloodpossibilitieswereamajorproblem.Insectinfestationswereconsideredamajorproblemby7percentoftherespondents.Everydayeconomicconcernswerefarmorefrequentlymen.tionedasmajorproblemsthananyofthenaturalhazards,includingdrought(Table8).Forexample,milksupportpriceswereconsideredamajorproblemby53percentofthefarmersandpropertytaxeswerecitedby51percent.Severalothereconomicconcernsweredroughtinduced.Shortagesofhayandfeedwereconsideredmajorproblemsby47percentofthosesurveyedandpricesof andfeedwereviewedasamajorproblemby53percentoftherespondents.Althoughonly9percentofthefarmersrankeddroughtpossibilities as thesinglemostimportantproblemfacingdairyfarmersintheirWisconsincounty(comparedwith45percentcitingeithermilksupportpricesorwholesale9

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milkprices),onlyfivepercentofthefarmersindicatedthatthethreatofdroughtwas"notaproblematall."Thedroughtperceptionsofthedairyfarmersweregenerallyrelatedtotheseverityofconsequencesfromthe1988droughtwhichtheyexperienced(Table9).Themorestronglythefarmersfeltdecreasesingrossandnetfarmincomes,increasesinfarmindebtedness,andshortagesinhayandalfalfa,thehighertheyrankeddroughtpossibilitiesasaproblem.Farmerswhowerepessimisticabouttheirabilitiestoremaininbusinessshouldanotherdroughtoccurin1989weresignificantlymorelikelytoconsiderdroughtpossibilitiesasamajorproblem.Previousexperiencewithdroughtsassevereasthe1988droughtwerereportedbyaquarterofthefarmerssurveyed.Nevertheless,thispreviousdroughtexperiencewasnotsignificantlyrelatedtothedairyfarmers'perceptionsofthedroughtproblemnortheirexpectationsoffuturedroughtconditions.Droughtperceptionswerealsonotsignificantlyrelatedtovarioussocio-economiccharacteristicsofthefarmers.Impactsof1988DroughtThe1988droughthadnumerousimpactsuponWisconsin'sover36,000dairyfarmers,whorepresentapproximatelyhalfofallfarmerswithinthestate(Table10).Thesefarmersexperiencedsubstantialcroplosses,lossesofincome,shortagesofhayandfeed,togetherwithawideassortmentofeconomicstresses.Forsomefarmers,thedroughtresultedinthelossoftheirfarms.Statewide,anestimated960farmershadalreadyterminatedtheirdairyoperationsbyearlyMay,1989,asadirectresultof10

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the1988drought. a figuredeterminedbysummingthevariousestimatesofthecounty-levelagriculturalextensionagents.BetweenMarch1988andMarch1989thetotalnumberofcommercialherdswithinWisconsin.definedbytheBrucellosisRingtest.droppedby1300.Thus.thedroughtconditionsweretheleadingcauseofherdterminationsoverthepastyear.However.tokeepthislossinperspective.itshouldbenotedthatthenumberofdairyoperationsinWisconsinfellby9.8percentbetween1986and1988(with4.1percentofthesebeingparticipantsintheDairyTerminationProgram)andfellby19.2percentbetween1982and1988.However.itshouldbenotedthatmanyagriculturalextensionagentsfeltthatitwasstilltooearlytodeterminethetotalnumberofcasualtiesfromthe1988drought.andthatforsomefarmers.1988waseconomicallytheirbestyear.CropLossesandFeedPurchasesCroplosseswereestimatedbytheWisconsinStateAgriculturalStabilizationandConservationServiceOfficeinlateAugust1988asbeing50percentforboththehayandcorncrops.Cropyieldsfor1988reportedbydairyfarmersrespondingtothissurveywereveryclosetotheseestimates.withthehay/alfalfaharvestaveraging45percentofnormalandthecorncropaveraging50percentofnormal.WhensurveyedinMay-June1989only37percentofthefarmershad"sufficientfeedgrainsuppliestolastuntilthenext harvest. although69percenthadadequatehay/alfalfasupplies.However.62percentofthedairyoperatorshadalreadypurchasedhay/alfalfasincethebeginningoffalland72percenthadpurchasedfeedgrains.Theagriculturalextension11

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agentsestimatedthatinanormalyearnomorethanone-quarterofthedairyfarmerspurchasehayorfeedgrainsupplies.(Responsesfromthedairyfarmersindicatethat41percentpur-chasenofeedsorhayofanyvarietyinanormalyear,butin 1989over75percenthadalreadypurchasedhay/alfalfaand/orfeedgrains.)Purchasesofhayandfeedgrainsoverthepastyear(1988-89)averaged$14,616,withamedianpurchasecostof$9,000,amongthosedairyoperatorsrespondingtothesurvey.Theaver-agecostofthesepurchasesinanormalyearaveraged$6,733withamedianpurchasecostof$2,000.Withinanormalyear41percentofthedairyfarmerspurchasenohayorfeed,butoverthepastyearonly14percentofthedairyfarmerswereabletoavoidsuchpurchases.Likewise,inatypicalyearonly5percentspentasmuchas$25,000onhayandfeed.farmersspentatleastthismuch.In1988-89,20percentoftheAlthoughobtainingadditionalhayorfeedsupplieswasthemostcommonmeansofmitigatingthefeedshortages,farmersalsotookavarietyofotheractions.Forexample,38percentoftherespondentsreducedthesizeoftheirherds.35percenthadchangedthetypeoffeedfedtotheiranimals,and22percenthadreducedtheamountoffeedfedtotheiranimals.DropinFarmIncomeNetfarmincomewasdownforthemajorityofthedairyfarmers,yetforbetterthanone-in-ten,incomewasaboveaver-age.Whenaskedanopen-endedquestion,"Yournetfarmincome(fromallsources)for1988 was aboutwhatpercentofnormal?"1412

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percentofthefarmersindicated100percentand11percentindicatedover100percent(Table11).Conversely,11percentindicatednetincomesof50percentorlessofnormal,with.themeannetfarmincomebeing84.5percentofnormal(medianwas90percentofnormal). A laterquestioninthesurveyaskedfarmerstocategorizetheirincome,"Yourtotalnetfarmincome,including gll droughtreliefpaymentsduring1988equaledapproximatelywhatpercentofyour1987netfarmincome?"Fifteenpercentindicatedtheirincomeswereover100percentoftheir1987incomeand46percentindicatedtheir1988incomewasbetween76and100percentoftheir1987income.Thesefiguresaresimilartothoseoftheagriculturalextensionagents,whoestimatedthataverageincomewas89percentofnormal.However,oneoutofsevenoftheagentsestimatedthattheaveragefarmerwithintheircountyobtainedagreaterthannormalincome,andseveralotherextensionagentswhoestimatedbelownormalincomesfortheaveragefarmerindicatedthattherewereotherfarmersintheircountieswhohadtheirbestyearyet.Obviously,manyfactorsmusthaveinfluencedtheeconomicvulnerabilityofWisconsin'sdairyfarmerstothedrought.Decreasesinnetfarmincomewerestronglyormoderatelyfeltby67percentofthedairyfarmerssurveyed,anevenlargerproportionthanthosefarmersreportingdecreasesingrossfarmincome(56percent).(SeeTable10.)Decreasesinnetfarmincomewereonly"slightlyfelt"by20percentofthedairyoperators,while13percentclaimedsuchdecreaseswere"notfeltatall."Halfofthefarmersindicatedthatshortagesinhayor13

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alfalfawere"stronglyfelt"withanadditional24percentclaimingtheseshortageswere"moderatelyfelt."Nevertheless,increasesinfarmindebtednessasaresultofthedroughtwerestronglyormoderatelyfeltbyonly38percentofthefarmers.Drought-inducedbankforeclosurethreatwasstronglyormoderatelyfeltby8percentofthedairyfarmers,andthesalesoflandsorfarmequipmentwassimilarlyfelton10percentofthefarms.Thirty-fivepercentofthefarmersindicatedthata"greaterneedofoff-farmincome"wasstronglyormoderatelyfelt.Droughtinduceddeclinesingrossandnetincome,shortagesofhayandfeedgrains,andincreasedindebtednesswereexperiencedbyabroadspectrumofWisconsindairyfarmers.Nodifferenceswerenotedamongthefarmersbasedupontheageofthefarmers,thenumberofyearsasfarmoperator,farmacreage,sizeofdairyherd,thefarmer'slandtenurestatus,orwhetherthefarmwasagradeAorgradeBoperation.Ontheotherhand,theresponseofthefarmerstotheshortagesofhayandfeedsupplieswererelatedtoanumberofthesecharacteristics(Table12).Forexample,farmersmostlikelytohavealreadypurchasedhayorfeedgrainsasaresultofthedroughtweretheyoungest,thosewithlowernetincomes,thosewiththelargestnumberofcows,andthosewithoff-farmincomes.DroughtReliefHay feedpurchaseswerefinancedprimarilybyfoursources.Thirty-sevenpercentofthesurveyedfarmersindicatedthatdroughtreliefpaymentsfromthegovernmentwerethemostimportantsourceoffundstomakethesepurchases.Thirty-five14

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percentofthefarmersprimarilyreliedupontheirfarmincome(milkcheck)orwithdrawaloffundsfromtheirsayingstopurchasehayorfeed.Thirteenpercentborrowedfundsfrombanksorotherfinancialinstitutions.Itshouldbenotedthattheeffectsofdrought-reduced1988hayharvestwerenotevenlydistributed.Farmerswhohadhaysurplusescarriedoverfromthe1987growingseasonwerenotfacedwithsubstantialpurchases.andinsomecaseswereinapositiontoprofitfromsalesoftheirsurplusesatsubstantiallyhigherthannormalprices.Wisconsindairyfarmerswereaskedtoevaluatetheimpor-tanceofvariousfactorsinhelpingtheirfarmssurvivethe1988droughtanditsaftereffects(Tablefinancially13).Thetwomostimportantfactorsweregovernmentdroughtreliefpaymentsandincreasedmilksupportprices.citedas"veryimportant"by44and41percentofthefarmers.respectively.Actual ly. milksupportpriceswerenotincreasedabovepre-droughtlevels.butascheduleddropinsupportpriceswasomitted.Personalsavingswerecitedas"veryimportant"by26percentofthedairyoperators.bankcreditby22percent.andoff-farmincomeby17percent.Cropinsurancepaymentswere"veryimportant"toonly8percentofthefarmers.FinancialassistancethroughtheDisasterAssistance(DroughtRelief)Actwasreportedby75percentoftheWisconsindairyfarmers.surveyed.aproportiongreaterthanthosewhoreportedthisassistancewaseither"important"or"veryimportant"inhelpingtheirfarmfinanciallysurvivethedrought.Ofthosewhoreceivedthisfinancialassistance.73percentindicatedthattheywouldhavebeenabletoremaininthedairy15

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businessevenwithouttheaid.Twenty-onepercentdoubtedtheirabilitytoremaininbusinesswithoutthe aid. whiletheremaining6percentexpresseduncertainty.Incontrast.theagriculturalextensionagentsestimatedthatwithoutthedroughtreliefpaYmentsthatonly9percentofthedairyfarmerswouldsuccumb.ThereceiptofdroughtreliefpaYmentswasmostsignificantinthesurvivalofGradeBdairyfarms.thefarmerswithoff-farmincomeoremploYment,thosefarmerswhoreportedthatdecreasesinnetfarmincomewasmoderatelyandstrongly felt. andthefarmersreportingthegreatesthayandcorncroplossesin1988.VulnerabilitytoContinuedDroughtStresses A thirdofthedairyfarmerssurveyedindicated that. iftherewasadroughtduringthesummerof 1989. theywouldnolongerbeinbusinessbySpring1990.However.anindicationthatthedroughtof1988stillhasmanyvictimstoclaimwasthefindingthatsevenpercentofthedairyfarmersindicatedtheydidnotexpecttostillbeinbusinessnext year. evenifrainfallamountsarenormalduringthesummerof1989.Anotherindicatorofthevulnerabilityofmanydairyfarmersistheirdesiretoselltheirfarms.Statewide29percentofthedairyfarmerssurveyedaffirmativelyansweredthequestion."Wouldyouliketosellyourfarm?"ThiswasparticularlyprevalentthroughoutthenorthernthirdofWisconsin.where40percentofthedairyfarmerswishedtosell.(ItshouldbenotedthatfornorthwesternWisconsindroughtconditionsbeganduringthesummerof1987.Furthermoretheentirenorthernportionofthestatehasseenthehighestratesoffarmabandonmentoverthepast16

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decadeandthegreatestparticipationratesintheDairyTerminationProgram(Cross1989).)Ontheother hand, although34percentofthesurveyedfarmerswithinNorthwesternandNorthCentralWisconsindoubtedtheirabilitytosurviveanotherdroughtduring 1989, thehighestlevelsofvulnerabilitywerereportedinCentralandEastCentralWisconsin(where44percentfeltvulnerable).Farmerswhoexpressedthegreatestconcernabouttheirvulnerabilityincontinueddroughtweretypicallythosewithsmallerthanaveragefarmacreages,withbelowaverageherdsizes,whohaveGradeBoperations(Table14).Althoughnotstatisticallysignificant,agreatervulnerabilitywasexpressedbythosedairyoperatorswhowereinneithertheyoungestnoroldestgroupsofoperators.Strongstatisticalrelationshipswerenotedbetweenthefarmers'expectationsthattheycouldsurvivea1989droughtandtheircroplosses(especiallycorn)in1988andtheadequacyoftheirhayandfeedgrainsupplies(Table15).Thosefarmerswhoindicatedtheydidnotexpecttostillbeinbusiness-droughtornodrought--by1990weregenerallytheoldest,withthegreatestnumberofyearsasfarmoperators,andwithsmallerandaverageherdsizes.Thosewhoexpectedtoquitby1990suffereddrought-inducedcroplossesandfeedandhayshortageswhichwerenodifferentthantheremainingfarmers.DroughtMitigationfor1989Experiencewithadroughtequaltothatwhichoccurredin1988wascitedbyonly'23percentofthedairyfarmers,althoughthetypicalfarmerhadoperatedhisfarmfortwentyyears.With17

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virtuallyallWisconsindairyfarmerssufferingcrop losses, withoverthree-quartersreportinglossesinnetincome,andwith70percentexpectingadrierthannormal1989growingseason,itissurprisingthatmanyfarmershavemadenoeffortstomitigatefuturelosses.Cropinsurancetocoverdroughtlosseshadbeenobtainedby8percentofthesurveyedWisconsindairyfarmersin1988.Atthesametime36percentof.thesefarmershadobtainedcropinsurancetocoverhaillosses.Fortheir1989cropseason,51percentofthedairyfarmersreportedthattheyeitherhadorwouldobtaincropinsurancetocoverdroughtlosses.Suchalowfigureissurprisingbecausemultiperilcropinsuranceisrequiredofrecipientsofdroughtreliefpayments(PublicLaw100 387, Section207).Furthermore,severalrespondentsindicatedthattheywereonlyobtainingminimalcropinsurancecoveragebecauseofitscost.The1988droughtprompted42percentofthedairyfarmerstomakechangesintheircropplantingplansfor1989.Althoughthefarmersplannedtocontinuetheirrelianceupongrowingcornandeitherhayand/oralfalfa,numerouschangesincultivationtechniquesandcropswereundertakenbythesefarmers.Inresponsetoanopenendedquestion,"Whatarethesechanges[inyourcropplantingplansforthisyear]?",mostfarmersdescribedchangesincropswhichwouldbeplanted,withonlyahandfulmentioningchangesihplowing/plantingdatesorreducedtillage.Ofthefarmersreportingchanges,mostreportedplanstogrowmoreorlessofspecificcrops.Forexample,20percentintendedtogrow18

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morecorn.while5percentplannedtogrowlesscorn.Theneedtoreplantorgrowmorehayoralfalfawascitedby24percentofthesefarmers.Twelvepercentofthefarmerscitingchangesindicatedtheywereplantingmoresudangrass.Ontheotherhand.only14percentoftherespondentsmentionedchangesintheiruseoffertilizersorherbicides.Farmersmostlikelytoreportthatthe1988droughtcausedthemtomakechangesintheircropplantingplansfor1989werethefarmerswiththegreatestacreages.Likewise.youngerandmiddle-agedfarmersweresignificantlYmorelikelytoreportchangesthantheolderfarmers(thoseover60yearsofage).Ontheotherhand.thelandtenure status ofthefarmers.thesizeofthefarmer'sdairyherd.andwhethertheherdwasaGradeAorGradeBoperationwereunrelatedtochangesinthecropplanting.Theprominenceofhay/alfalfa.corn.andoatproductiononWisconsindairyfarmsremainsunchangedfollowingthedrought.Ninety-fivepercentofthesurveyedfarmersreportedplantingcornin1988and94percentintendedtogrowcornin1989.Similarproportionsofthedairyfarmersproducedhayand/oralfalfa.Oatscultivationwasfoundon73percentofthedairyfarmsin1988.thesameproportionwhichplannedtogrowoatsin1989.However.aslightlygreateramountofcropdiversificationwasplannedfor1989.andtheproportionoffarmsproducingmanyofthelessergrowncropsincreased.Forexample.dairyfarmsplantingsudangrassincreasedfrom9.6percentin1988to13.3percentin1989;sorghumfrom5.2percentto7.3percent;peas(for silage) from7.8percentto11.4percent;barleyfrom7.8percentto9.6percent:wheatfrom5.6to7.8percent;andrye19

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from1.1percentto3.3percent.IrrigationisararityonWisconsindairyfarms,notwithstandingvariouspressreportsduringthe1988droughtaboutfarmersinstallingsystems.Only3.2percentofthesurveyedwithanOnlytwoinstall1988,irrigationsystemsinplacebeforehadfarmersadditional1.4percentinstallingsystemsduring1988.(ofthe283farmersrespondingtothesurvey)plannedtoanirrigationsystemduring1989.FewWisconsindairyfarmersmentionedanyotheractions(besideschangesintheircropplantingplans,cropinsurance,andirrigation)whichtheyplannedtotaketoavoidanydroughtlossesin1989.Themostcommonlymentionedotheractionwasprayer(by8.9percentoftherespondents).ConclusionsThedroughtof1988hasprovideduswithauniqueopportunitytostudydroughtperceptionsanddroughtmitigationamongafarmpopulationwhichrarelyhasdealtwiththishazard.Droughtperceptionandimpactresearchhastypicallybeencarriedoutamongfarmersofsubhumidtosemi-aridregions(Warrick1975andRosenberg1978).IfpredictionsofclimatologistsaboutclimaticwarmingbecauseoftheGreenhouseEffectareaccurate(Schneider1989),Wisconsinfarmersmustlearntoincreasinglydealwithanincreasinglycapriciousenvironment.Theabilityofdairyfarmerstoaccuratelyperceivetheclimaticrisksfacingthem ana toappropriatelyrespondtotheserisksmaydeterminewhetherornotWisconsinremainsthenation'sDairyStateintheTwenty-firstCentury.20

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ReferencesCitedClark,Douglas.1989a."Precipitation Sununary for1988andtheOutlookfor1989."TheDryline:DroughtManagementStrategies(UniversityofWisconsinCooperativeExtensionService),Vol. 2, No.1(February 13, 1989),pp.2-3,enclosures1-4.1989b."WinterPrecipitation Sununary." TheDryline:DroughtManagementStrategies(UniversityofWisconsinCooperativeExtensionService),Vol. 2, No.3(April 27, 1989),PP.1-3,enclosures1-3.Cross,JohnA.1989."Wisconsin'sChangingDairyIndustryandtheDairyTerminationProgram."TransactionsoftheWisconsinAcademyofSciences, Arts, andLetters.InPress.Rosenberg,NormanJ.(ed.)1978.NorthAmericanDroughts.(AAASSelectedSymposium15).Boulder:WestviewPress.Schneider,StephenH.1989."TheGreenhouseEffect:ScienceandPolicy."Science.Vol.243(February 10,1989), pp.771-781.UnitedStatesDepartmentofAgriculture.1988a.WeeklyWeatherandCropBulletin.VariousissuesMay -October,1988.1988b."ProducerProductionLosses-ProjectionDamageAssessmentReportsofAugust 24,. 1988."Madison:WisconsinStateAgriculturalStabilizationandConservationServiceOffice.(xeroxedreport).1989.WeeklyWeatherandCropBulletin.VariousissuesMayJulY,1989.UnitedStatesDepartmentofCommerce.1988.ClimatologicalData:Annual Sununary: Wisconsin:1988.Ashville:NationalClimaticDataCenter,NationalOceanicandAtmosphericAdministration.1989.WeeklyClimateBulletin(Washington:ClimateAnalysisCenter,NationalOceanicandAtmosphericAdministration).VariousissuesMay-July, 1989, Numbers89/18-89/27.Warrick,RichardA.1975.DroughtHazardintheUnitedStates: A ResearchAssessment.Boulder:UniversityofColoradoInstituteofBehavioralScience(ProgramonTechnology,Environment,andManMonographNSF-RA-E-75-004).WisconsinAgriculturalStatisticsService.1989.Wisconsin1989AgriculturalStatistics.Madison:WisconsinDepartmentofAgriculure,Trade,andConsumerProtection.WisconsinDepartmentofAdministration.1989.TheDroughtof1988.Madison:WisconsinDepartmentofAdministration.21

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TABLE 1 DAIRYFARMERSPERDICTIONSOF1989SUMMERPRECIPITATION"Duringthiscomingsummer(Summer1989).doyouexpectthatprecipitationwillbewetterordrierthannormal?"Muchwetterthannormal..SlightlywetterthannormalNormalSlightlydrierthannormalMuchdrierthannormalTABLE20.4 % 4.7 % 29.7 % 50.7 % 19.6 % DAIRYFARMERSEXPECTATIONSOFDROUGHTDURINGSUMMER1989"HowlikelyisitthatyourareaofWisconsinwillhaveadroughtduringthesummerof1989?"VeryLikelyLikelyNeitherLikelynorUnlikelyUnlikelyVeryUnlikely2216.2 % 35.0 % 30.3 % 17.0 % 1.4%

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TABLE3DAIRY FARMERS PREDICTIONSOF1989SUMMERPRECIPITATIONANDTHEDATEOFRESPONSETOTHEDROUGHTIMPACTSURVEYQuestionnaireReturnedSummer1989.Expectedtobe:ByMay25AfterMay25TotalMuchwetterthannormal.5 % 0.4 % Slightlywetterthannormal3.6 % 6.0 % 4.7 % Normal21.2 % 33.7 % 29.7 % Slightlydrierthannormal54.9 % 41.0 % 50.7 % Muchdrierthannormal19.7 % 19.3 % 19.6 % 23

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TABLE4EXPECTATIONSOFANOTHERDROUGHTWITHIN10YEARSAgriculturalReportingDistrictNorthwesternWisconsinNorthCentralWisconsinNortheasternWisconsinWestCentralWisconsinCentralWisconsinEastCentral,WisconsinSouthwesternWisconsinSouthCentralWisconsinSoutheasternWisconsinWISCONSINTOTAL24DroughtLike198853.6 % 37.0 % 58.3 % 49.7 % 51.5 % 34.2 % 58.1 % 40.7 % 52.0 % 47.8 % DroughtWorseThan198821.4 % 3.7 % 29.2 % 22.5 % 25.0 % 10.8 % 22.6 % 18.5 % 16.0 % 18.8 %

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TABLE 5 PERCEIVEDFREQUENCYOFDROUGHTLIKETHATOF1988Howfrequentlywouldyouexpectadroughtsuchasoccurredduring.thesummerof1988?Onceevery5years5.6%Onceevery10years31.1 % Onceevery20years19.3%Onceevery30years15.6%Onceevery40years5.6%Onceevery50years21.5%Onceevery100years1.5%TABLE 6 EXPECTATIONSOFWEATHERINTHE1990'SHowdoyouthinktheweatherinthe1990'swillbeincomparisonwiththe1980's?Coolerandwetterthanthe1980's5.5%Cooleranddrierthanthe1980's6.7%Warmerandwetterthanthe1980's6.7%Warmeranddrierthanthe1980's44.9%Unchangedfromthe1980's36.2%25

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TABLE 7 PERCEPTIONSOFDROUGHT. HAIL, FLOODS.ANDINSECTSASPROBLEMSIndicatethedegreetowhichthefollowingfactorsmaybeproblemsfacingdairyfarmersinyourcounty.MajorSomewhatMinorNOTaHazardProblemaProblemProblemProblemDroughtPossiblities36.5 % 42.7 % 16.2 % 4.6 % FloodPossibilities2.8 % 8.3 % 17.4 % 71.5 % HailDamages5.1 % 23.9 % 43.1 % 27.8 % InsectInfestations7.2 % 29.2 % 41.9 % 21.6 % TABLE 8 PERCEPTIONSOFFARMECONOMICCONDITIONSASPROBLEMSIndicatethedegreetowhichthefollowingfactorsmaybeproblemsfacingdairyfarmersinyourcounty,MajorSomewhatMinorNOTaFactorProblemaProblemProblemProblemPricesofHayandFeed52.9 % 32.7 % 10.6 % 3.8 % MilkSupportPrices52.6 % 34.8 % 8.1 % 4.4 % PropertyTaxes51.1 % 34.2%10.2 % 4.5 % GovernmentRegulations30.5 % 40.2 % 21.2 % 8.1 % 26

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TABLE9DROUGHTPERCEPTIONSAND1988DROUGHTCONSEQUENCES:SUMMARYOFCHI-SQUARE SIGNIFICANCE LEVELSDroughtPerceptions1988Drought198919891990's1990'sDroughtConsequencesDroughtPrecipDroughtPrecipProblemDeclineinGrossFarmIncome.0105.0093.0047.0025.0001DeclineinNetFarmIncome.0011.0367NS.0091.0003IncreaseinFarmIndebtedness.0232NSNSNS.0029ShortagesinHayorAlfalfaNSNSNSNS.0025RelianceonDroughtRelief.0026.0479.0006 .0088.0075AbilitytoSurviveDroughtin1989NSNS.0604NS.0004NSindicatesNotSignificantat.10level.27

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TABLE10IMPACTSEXPERIENCED RESULTINGFROM1988DROUGHT"Indicatetowhatdegree(ifany)youhaveexperiencedthefollowingasaresultoflastsummer'sdrought?"StronglyModeratelySlightlyNOTConditionFelt FeltFeltFeltDecreaseingrossfarmincome27.0 % 29.2%23.2 % 20.6 % Decreaseinnetfarmincome39.1 % 27.8 % 20.3%12.8 % Increaseinfarmindebtedness19.6 % 18.1%23.1 % 39.2 % Shortagesinhayoralfalfa49.8 % 24.3 % 13.9 % 12.0%Problems with corntoxicity3.5 % 5.8 % 12.7%78.0%Bankforeclosurethreat3.5 % 4.3 % 6.7 % 85.5 % GreaOterneedofoff-farmincome14.9 % 19.8 % 20.6 % 44.7 % Saleoflandsorfarmequipment3.5 % 6.9 % 6.9 % 82.7 % 28

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TABLE11CHANGEINNETFARMINCOMEFROMNORMALDURING1988"YourNetFarmIncome(fromallsources)for1988wasaboutwhatpercentofnormal?"oto50percentofnormal10.7 % 51to75percentofnormal19.1 % 76to89percentofnormal16.8 % 90to99percentofnormal29.0 % 100percentofnormal13.7 % 101to200percentofnormal10.7 % 29

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TABLE12SIGNIFICANTRELATIONSHIPSBETWEENDAIRYFARMERCHARACTERISTICSANDRESPONSESTODROUGHT-INDUCEDHAY/ FEEDSHORTAGESFarmerResponsesFarmerPurchaseReduceChangeReduceCharacteristicsHay/FeedHerdSizeFeedTypeFeedAmountAgeofFarmer.00977NS.04195 .09128YearsofFarmOperation.00387NS.01902.01837FarmAcreageNS NS NS.03218FarmOwnershipNSNSNS.06011HerdSize.02114 .03078NSNSDropinNetFarmIncome.06239.00777.05057 .07215Off-farmIncome.02173.06594NSNSNSindicatesChi-Squarenotsignificantat0.1000significancelevel.30

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TABLE13IMPORTANCEOFVARIOUSFACTORSINHELPINGFARMFINANCIALLYSURVIVEVeryNei-VeryImpor-Impor-ther.UnimUnim-Factortant tantportantportantGovernmentdroughtre1iefpayments44.2 % 25.5 % 12.4 % 6.7 % 11.2%Cropinsurancepayments7.9 % 8.3 % 27.9 % 31.7 % 34.2 % Increasedmilksupportprice41.8 % 37.1 % 10.5 % 5.5 % 5.1 % Creditfrombank22.2 % 24.6 % 19.0 % 15.7%18.5 % Personalsavings26.3 % 30.2 % 22.9 % 11.1%9.5 % Off-farmemployment16.9 % 16.5 % 25.4 % 13.7 % 27.4 % 31

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TABLE14 SUMMARY OFSIGNIFICANT CHI-SQUARE RELATIONSHIPSBETWEENDROUGHTVULNERABILITYOFFARMERS AND FARMERCHARACTERISTICSFarmerCouldSurviveCharacteristicsDroughtin1989 Age of NSYearsofFarmOperationNSFarmAcreage.06472FarmOwnershipNSHerdSize.00177HerdGrade(A/B).00881DropinNetFarmIncome.01891Off-farmIncome.03370CouldSurviveWithoutDroughtReliefPaymentNS NS NSNSNS NS.00909NSWishtoSellFarm.01089.08401NS.039NSNS.07437NS NSindicatesChi-Squarenotsignificantat0.1000significancelevel.32

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TABLE15SUMMARYOFSIGNIFICANT CHI-SQUARE RELATIONSHIPSBETWEEN1988DROUGHTIMPACTSANDFUTUREVULNERABILTYOFDAIRYOPERATIONSCouldSurviveDroughtImpactsDroughtin1989from1988HayCropLosses.06337CornCropLosses.00392AdequacyofHaySupplies.00000AdequacyofFeedSupplies.00084IncreasedFarmIndebtedness.00004Feed/HayPurchases.09500CouldSurviveWithoutDroughtReliefPayment.00001.00424.00000.00164.00000.00112WishtoSellFarmNS.00923NS.05057.06922NSNSindicatesChi-Squarenotsignificantat0.1000significancelevel.33

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APPENDIXQuestionnairesenttoWisconsindairyfarmers.May4.1989.34


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