Wautoma, WI
Current Conditions
0:56 AM CDT
Dew Point
N at 3 mph
30.11 in. F
10.00 mi.
07:01 a.m.
06:27 p.m.
Overnight Forecast (Midnight-7:00am)
Temperatures will range from 55 to 48 degrees with partly cloudy skies. Winds will range between 4 and 8 miles per hour from the north. No precipitation is expected.
7-Day Forecast
55°F / 47°F
Partly Cloudy
61°F / 43°F
Partly Cloudy
70°F / 46°F
Mostly Cloudy
56°F / 43°F
Partly Cloudy
63°F / 43°F
Partly Cloudy
74°F / 50°F
68°F / 55°F
Partly Cloudy
Detailed Short Term Forecast
Issued at 0:56 AM CDT
Wednesday...Temperatures will range from a high of 55 to a low of 47 degrees with partly cloudy skies. Winds will range between 4 and 8 miles per hour from the north. No precipitation is expected.
Overnight ...Temperatures will range from 55 to 48 degrees with partly cloudy skies. Winds will range between 4 and 8 miles per hour from the north. No precipitation is expected.
Wednesday...Temperatures will range from a high of 61 to a low of 43 degrees with partly cloudy skies. Winds will range between 2 and 10 miles per hour from the northnortheast. No precipitation is expected.

Soggy and slow season continues

June 20, 2013 | 0 comments



The toll continues along with the cold rain: Unplanted fields, rained-on hay and sickly-looking young corn. Spring tillage is struggling to one of the latest finish lines in three decades, while crop growth and growing degree days lag behind. The only thing out in front, it seems, is precipitation totals for the year.

With June half over, Wisconsin farmers are getting pinched between the dwindling number of days left in the 2013 growing season and ongoing feed shortages. They’re forced to plant and hay in less than ideal conditions, the June 17 "Wisconsin Crop Progress Report" said, which means wet fields are being damaged by tractors and other field machinery.

"Some farmers are planting even though the fields are still too wet, in an effort to get seed in the ground," a reporter from La Crosse County shared. "On drier days, long hours are putting on the tractor."

According to the report, the week ending June 16 offered warmer temperatures, some sunshine and 3.7 days suitable for fieldwork. It also brought multiple storms and unwelcome inches of rain across much of the state.

Precipitation totals charted for the week ranged from 0.64 inches in La Crosse to 2.62 inches in Madison, while average temperatures for the week were one degree below to two degrees above normal.

"We had 1.5 inches of rain Saturday night, which just about ends any chance of putting the remaining crops in," a Shawano County reporter said, noting many farmers will take prevent planting insurance instead.

Some sections of Juneau County were soaked with three inches of rain during the week. "Once again, we had a week with two good days, then rain, then two good days and more rain," the local reporter said. "There is still a lot of corn and soybeans that could be planted and most say they will try to plant until June 25-July 1, mainly corn for silage and they hope for some soybeans."

Development of all crops continues to lag behind normal, the report said. Growing degree days for corn ranged from 22 degree days below average in Green Bay to 100 degree days below average in Eau Claire.

Most early planted corn looks stunted because of the cool and wet conditions, reporters in the statewide web of contributing farmers and county ag agents noted.

Statewide, farmers had finished 90 percent of spring tillage, the report said, making this one of the latest ends to spring tillage in the past 30 years. Spraying was also slowed or prevented by wet conditions, sparking widespread reports of weedy fields.

By June 16, farmers had taken 36 percent of first cutting alfalfa, far behind the five-year average of 71 percent. Baling dry hay has been impossible with the frequent rains, the report commented, and cuttings have been rained on several times where they are lying in the field.

The first crop was reportedly good quantity, but middling in quality where it’s been taken off.

The weeds like the "plenty wet" conditions in Waukesha County and are growing well, as is the alfalfa. "The hay is excellent. Some is 3 foot tall," the reporter said.

In Juneau County, it’s been extremely difficult to make hay because the fields are so soft and equipment is tearing up the field or getting stuck, that reporter said. "Many farmers are still facing feed shortages because they can’t harvest forage crops and can’t get everything planted," he added. "This could force some to sell cattle."

By week’s end, 87 percent of the state’s corn crop had been planted and 75 percent had emerged, compared to the five-year average of 100 percent planted and 96 percent emerged. The corn averaged 8 inches tall, compared to the five-year average of 12 inches tall.

One bright spot was Walworth County, where planting is wrapped up for the most part, the exception being unplantable wet holes. "Timely rains and warmer weather this past week have the crops looking good, and hay has been harvested in between the rains with reports of good yields," the reporter shared.

However, in Vernon County, where continuous rain is hampering farmers’ efforts to plant corn and beans and control weeds, some farmers have replanted poor corn stands. First crop hay is lodging due to the rain and the fields are extremely soft. "Some extended sunshine is badly needed!" the reporter said.

High winds during a storm on Wednesday (June 12) also caused severe lodging in some hayfields in Columbia County. The week brought up to two inches of rain, the reporter said, meaning some fields are still not planted and the first crop hay harvest has been further delayed.

Several farmers killed between 25-50 percent of their winter wheat fields and planted them to corn because of the severity of winterkill, he added.

Statewide, soybeans were 72 percent planted and 49 percent emerged by June 16, compared to the five-year average of 97 percent planted and 84 percent emerged. This is the lowest emergence rate for the past 10 years, the report said, with 2004 closest at 62 percent, 2011 at 75 percent and then 2003 at 79 percent.

Many fields intended for corn will be planted to soybeans instead due to the lateness of the season, the report noted.

The oat crop was 96 percent emerged and 11 percent headed. Winter wheat was heading out in Kewaunee County, the potatoes were planted in Vilas County, and strawberries were finally starting to ripen in southern Wisconsin, as reporters statewide noted a two-week lag on the season.

Although the bit of sunshine and near-average temperatures helped stimulate the growth and development of cranberries in Oneida County, the crop is still about two weeks behind a "normal" growing season. "We have mowed all the grass around the cranberry beds and perimeter for the first time this year," that reporter observed.

Although fruit and vegetable crops were also developing more slowly than normal, their condition was reportedly good. Peas, sweet corn and snap beans were in good condition in Portage County, pears look "excellent" in Waukesha County, and Door County cherry producers are expecting a heavy crop.

The weekly "Wisconsin Crop Progress Report" is a cooperative effort of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, and the National Weather Service. It is compiled at the Wisconsin field office in Madison by state statistician Greg Bussler.

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