Wautoma, WI
Current Conditions
0:56 AM CDT
Clear
Temperature
62°F
Dew Point
37°F
Humidity
39%
Wind
SE at 9 mph
Barometer
30.15 in. F
Visibility
10.00 mi.
Sunrise
06:07 a.m.
Sunset
07:45 p.m.
Evening Forecast (7:00pm-Midnight)
Temperatures will range from 63 to 47 degrees with partly cloudy skies. Winds will range between 11 and 15 miles per hour from the south. No precipitation is expected.
7-Day Forecast
Saturday
63°F / 46°F
Partly Cloudy
Sunday
73°F / 48°F
Light Rain
Monday
71°F / 34°F
Partly Cloudy
Tuesday
52°F / 32°F
Sunny
Wednesday
54°F / 32°F
Light Rain
Thursday
57°F / 39°F
Light Rain
Friday
57°F / 39°F
Light Rain
Detailed Short Term Forecast
Issued at 0:56 AM CDT
Saturday...Temperatures will range from a high of 63 to a low of 46 degrees with partly cloudy skies. Winds will range between 6 and 15 miles per hour from the south. No precipitation is expected.
Overnight ...Temperatures will remain steady at 46 degrees with mostly cloudy skies. Winds will range between 6 and 13 miles per hour from the south. No precipitation is expected.
Sunday...Temperatures will range from a high of 73 to a low of 48 degrees with cloudy skies. Winds will range between 5 and 12 miles per hour from the southsouthwest. No precipitation is expected.
Bill Bland, Extension soil scientist, University of Wisconsin-Madison, shared ideas on weather trends in agriculture when he spoke at the recent Soil and Water Management meetings around the state.

Bill Bland, Extension soil scientist, University of Wisconsin-Madison, shared ideas on weather trends in agriculture when he spoke at the recent Soil and Water Management meetings around the state. Photo By Gloria Hafemeister

Soil scientist shares ideas on weather trends

Dec. 13, 2012 | 0 comments

JUNEAU

The 2012 crop year reminded farmers that agriculture remains an activity that is very dependent on nature. The continued relatively dry weather in autumn leaves questions about whether conditions will remain into next year’s growing season.

Bill Bland, Extension soil scientist, University of Wisconsin-Madison, shared ideas on weather trends in agriculture when he spoke at the recent Soil and Water Management meetings around the state.

He said the southern half of Wisconsin was part of what climatologists describe as the "most severe and extensive drought in at least 25 years." The drought spread from 20 percent of the nation’s cropland in mid-June to about 57 percent by mid-August.

Farmers and scientists agree that the thing that made this drought more severe is that it was coupled with record-breaking heat. On top of that, a freakish warm spell in March combined with the summer season to give Wisconsin its warmest January-August period on record.

Field crops were damaged by both too much and too little rain during June. While farmers in some areas watched the skies, hoping for some rain, the northwestern third of the state suffered heavy downpours over two days in a June storm that caused extensive flash flooding and soil erosion in parts of the state.

Bland says, "The modest successes in crop yields observed across the dry regions in Wisconsin this year were in no small measure because crops accessed deep soil water reserves. The outlook for 2013 depends in part on refilling of these reserves before the growing season gets underway."

WHAT’S AHEAD IN 2013?

He points out that the water-holding capacity of the soils in the state is diverse, from small sandy soils to deep prairie soils. He said with 12 inches of post-growing season rainfall, subsoil reserves will be refilled. During September, October and the first part of Nov. 5-7 inches of rain has fallen across the state. That means the winter months, traditionally the months with the least precipitation, need to be wetter than normal.

Those who study weather patterns and indications say the outlook for winter precipitation is slightly unfavorable as of mid-November.

He points out, "The way Wisconsin sits there isn’t much connection to the things that one usually uses to predict weather patterns."

He suggests that things like El Nino help predict weather patterns in some parts of the country, but not in the Wisconsin area."

Bland says, "The seasonal outlook models identified a region centered on the Twin Cities and extending across almost all of Wisconsin in which odds are better for a lower-than-average-precipitation winter. But the anticipated change in the likeliest value is only a few tenths of an inch – insignificant given that the official statewide normal precipitation for the season is 3.6 inches."

He said there are many indices used by those who try to predict weather patterns, making it difficult to predict with accuracy but he does believe that this region has a "better than even chance" of getting enough moisture for the soil profile for next year’s growing season.

Bland produced historical data from 2005, another year that was drier than usual but he said timely rains during crucial development times of the growing season helped pollination, silking, and tasseling to occur. That was not the case in 2012.

He says, "The remarkable recovery from drought conditions of much of the 2005 corn crop in Wisconsin is testimony to the tremendous adaptability of this plant."

Agronomists agree that those who had somewhat satisfactory yields despite this year’s drought achieved those goals because of the newer variety’s ability to withstand the stresses of drought. Crops that were grown on ground with more organic matter also did better because of the soil’s ability to hold moisture longer.

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