Wet weather making for rough field work conditions

October 11, 2018

Rain almost every day kept farmers out of fields in Wisconsin last week, preventing fall harvest work to move along.

The crop report from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service for the week ending Oct. 7 said only 2.0 days out of 7.0 total were suitable for field work across the state, with wet soil conditions preventing farmers from getting into fields.

“Too much rain has halted all field activities,” a Barron County report said. “Grain harvest has switched to corn because the soybeans are not drying down.”

Reporters in many areas of the state said there was increasing pressure on crops from mold and diseases caused by damp conditions.

“An extended period of dry weather is needed to dry up mud and dry down crops,” the report said.

Soil moisture showed just how wet it is in the Badger State.

Topsoil moisture was 100 percent adequate to surplus and subsoil moisture was 99 percent adequate to surplus.

The corn crop was rated 71 percent good to excellent, with 84 percent of the crop in the mature stage. Corn harvested for grain was 14 percent complete and corn harvested for silage was 87 percent complete.

The soybean crop was rated 71 percent good to excellent, with 89 percent of the crop dropping leaves and the harvest 17 percent complete.

Potatoes were 73 percent harvested and the fourth cutting of alfalfa was 87 percent complete.

Fifty-four percent of winter wheat was planted and 33 percent had emerged.

Pasture was rated 61 percent good to excellent and fall tillage was 14 percent complete.

The rain was the main topic of discussion in farm reports statewide.

“Another bad week,” an Adams/Juneau Counties report said. “Some corn and soybeans have been standing in water for over a month. Very depressing.”

“We really need a good month or two of dry weather to get most of the crops off, or we’ll have to wait for the ground to freeze in order to harvest crops without mudding things up,” a Manitowoc County report said.

There is some hope for dry weather, with no rain in the forecast through the weekend and into next week.

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