TREVOR — Residents in Trevor wondered what was going on.
Several fields along Highway C (116th Street), near Trevor-Wilmot Consolidated Grade School and east toward Highway JF suddenly have exploded with hundreds, if not thousands, of bright yellow sunflowers.
Are they natural, since this was the first year in recent memory that many residents didn’t see the usual corn or soybeans planted there?
It turns out that farmer Rob Hawkins, owner of Hawkins Farms in Bristol, was behind the smile-inducing fields.
With the spring’s continual rain and the muddy fields afterward, it marked the first time no corn could be planted for any kind of harvest this year, according to Hawkins, who rents the fields from the local Holst family farm.
“This has never happened before,” said the 45-year-farmer. “We were able to get soybeans planted on April 24, but we didn’t plant on June 10 because of rain. By June 22, it was too muddy. It was just continuous rain.”
The farmer, which rents 5,200 acres in Trevor and also rents fields in Pleasant Prairie, had one solution since he couldn’t get corn planted in July either: a total of 44,000 pounds of a seed mixture were planted instead.
“It’s a mix of 12 seeds to improve, to preserve, the soil,” he explained.
The mixture includes not only the sunflowers, but peas, buckwheat, radishes and other plants. Up close, the other plants look more like “weeds” growing, though the sunflowers are obviously the most visible and most appreciated growth noticed by passers-by.
A pleasant surprise
Pleasant Prairie resident Tracy Topps said she and her daughters, Rachel and Sarah, were also surprised to spot the sunny yellow fields on 95th Street off Old Green Bay Road and on Highway 165 near Sheridan Road.
“It’s a pleasant surprise to see,” said Topps. “So many people were running out with their cameras. It’s something you drive past every day and all of a sudden you see all this yellow. I thought they were Black-Eyes Susans at first.”
Everyone should enjoy the view now. The eye-catching landscape will probably be gone by Halloween.
“It’s going to be plowed down in the fall,” he said. “We have to prepare for next year’s crop. We don’t want the seeds to germinate.”
As usual, he plans to plant corn next spring.
So far, with this year’s horrible weather and the trade tariffs on farm crops, it hasn’t been a good year for farmers. No surprise that Hawkins, like other farmers, is definitely hoping everything, especially the weather, goes back to “normal” for 2020.