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Spotty rains helped Wisconsin farmers, but more is needed

August 3, 2018

The Hardie blackberry crop is just starting to ripen.

Spotty showers and storms across Wisconsin helped crops last week, but more rain is needed, according to the weekly crop progress report.

The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service report for the week ending July 29 showed 5.9 days out of 7.0 suitable for field work, with the dry and sunny conditions good for hay and small grain harvesting.

“Corn and soybeans are doing very well overall,” a Shawano County report said. “Small showers have been hitting us and are much appreciated.”

The corn crop is rated 81 percent good to excellent, with 76 percent of the state’s acreage reaching the silking stage, seven days ahead of last year and five days ahead of the five-year average. Eight percent of the crop is in the dough stage, three days ahead of last year and the average.

The soybean crop is rated 79 percent good to excellent, with 79 percent of the crop bloomed, four days ahead of last year and the average. Forty-five percent were setting pods, three days ahead of last year and four days ahead of average.

The oats crop was rated 83 percent good to excellent, with 87 percent turning color, five days ahead of last year. Oats harvested for grain was 19 percent complete, three days ahead of last year and a day ahead of average.

The potato crop was rated 87 percent good to excellent, with the harvest six percent complete, seven days behind last year.

Winter wheat was 82 percent good to excellent, with 60 percent harvested, five days ahead of last year.

The second cutting of alfalfa was 94 percent complete, five days ahead of last year and eight days ahead of average. The third cutting was 30 percent complete, same as last year and two days ahead of average.

All hay conditions were 82 percent good to excellent.

Pasture was 73 percent good to excellent, compared to 81 percent the week before.

“Pastures are looking really sad,” a Trempealeau County report said. “Supplementing with hay has been going on.”

Soil moisture numbers didn’t change much, with subsoil 83 percent adequate to surplus, up two points, and topsoil 77 percent adequate to surplus, down two points.

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