Wisconsin had 4.9 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending Aug. 18, 2019, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Summer warmth and scattered thunderstorms created another excellent week for crop development, though crop progress remains behind average. Corn and soybeans were well into the pollination phase and busily making grain.
Plenty of warmth and a late frost are needed to make sure corn and soybeans fully mature by harvest time.
Reporters commented that corn fields were still uneven and some late planted spots would need to be harvested as silage.
“Very difficult to string together 3 or 4 days of dry weather this summer,” a Clark County reporter wrote. “The pattern has been couple nice days then rain. Winter weather is still impacting plants. Answered many questions of trees dying this summer which may be related to winter stress and then the current wet conditions. Overall farmers continue to plant crops as some fields are drying out and they still need feed for livestock. Some will be planting fall small grains to cover forage needs later this fall and next spring.”
“Hard to get much hay made or straw baled this past week. It rained at least every other day,” wrote a Columbia County reporter. “Soil moisture for corn and soybeans is in great shape.”
The small grains harvest was in full swing, while canning vegetables were nearing completion and the potato harvest was taking off. Reporters in some areas noted very good conditions for baling dry hay and straw this week, while other areas received frequent showers.
Fall forages and cover crops were being planted in cleared fields.
Topsoil moisture condition was rated 0 percent very short, 9 percent short, 81 percent adequate and 10 percent surplus.
Subsoil moisture condition was rated 0 percent very short, 5 percent short, 80 percent adequate and 15 percent surplus.
Corn silking was reported at 84 percent complete, 15 days behind last year and 13 days behind the 5-year average. Thirty-one percent of corn has reached the dough stage, 12 days behind last year and 9 days behind the average. Three percent of corn was dented.
Corn condition was 63 percent good to excellent, unchanged from last week.
Soybeans blooming was reported at 83 percent, 17 days behind last year and 16 days behind the average. Sixty-four percent of soybeans were setting pods, 13 days behind the average. Soybean condition was 65 percent good to excellent, down 1 percentage point from last week.
Winter wheat harvest was reported as 86 percent complete, 10 days behind last year and 8 days behind the average. Ninety-two percent of oats were coloring or beyond, 12 days behind the average.
Oats were 56 percent harvested, 3 days behind last year and 5 days behind the average. Oat condition was 70 percent good to excellent, down 1 percentage point from last week.
The potato harvest was reported as 12 percent complete, a week behind last year and 8 days behind the average. Potato condition was 81 percent good to excellent, down 2 percentage points from last week.
The second cutting of alfalfa hay was reported as 95 percent complete, 15 days later than last year and 13 days later than the average. The third cutting was reported as 57 percent complete, 11 days behind last year and 10 days behind the average. The fourth cutting has begun in some districts, with 3 percent complete statewide.
All hay condition was reported 56 percent in good to excellent condition, down 2 percentage points from last week.
Pasture condition was rated 62 percent in good to excellent condition, down 1 percentage point from last week.