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Better weather allowed farmers to get into fields, crop report says

May 22, 2019

Better weather in Wisconsin last week allowed farmers to get into fields for spring planting work, but there were still reports of equipment getting stuck in sodden ground.

The crop progress report from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service for the week ending May 19 showed 4.2 days out of 7.0 suitable for field work, the most so far this year.

“Farmers took advantage of clear weather at the beginning of the week to get crops in the ground wherever possible,” the report said.

Heavy weekend rain halted field work, and lows dropping to the 30s produced frost in northern Wisconsin on several nights last week.

“Soil temperatures remained unfavorably low for crop emergence,” the report said.

Practically all of the major crops kept track of in the progress report were behind both the average and last year’s numbers.

“Cold temperatures and added moisture this week have a lot of producers talking about prevented planting already,” a St. Croix County report said.

Field work numbers for the week ending May 19:

Spring tillage was 61% complete, two days behind last year and seven days behind the five-year average.Corn planting was 35% complete, five days behind last year and 11 days behind average. Corn emerged was at 3%, 10 days behind last year and 11 days behind average.Soybean planting was 12% complete, seven days behind last year and 10 days behind average.Oats planting was 61% complete, one day behind last year and 10 days behind average. 28% of oats are emerged, two days behind last year and 11 days behind average.Potato planting was 76% complete, five days ahead of last year and four days behind average.Hay was 37% good to excellent, up a point from the previous week. Winter kill to alfalfa was rated at 25% severe, 18% moderate and 17% light, with no damage to the remaining 40%. Last year, 82% of the alfalfa crop was undamaged in winter.Pasture was rated 47% good to excellent, up six points from the previous week.Soil moisture was still in ample supply, with both subsoil and topsoil measures coming in at 100% adequate to surplus.

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