Wet was splashed throughout the Nov. 12 Wisconsin Crop Progress Report to describe the previous week's weather, grain and field conditions, a combination that dampened farmers' outlook in many areas.
â€œThe corn and soybean harvest is not progressed as hoped,â€ the Juneau County reporter said in the document created with input from farm reporters and county ag agents across the state.
â€œMoisture content remains high and people just don't want to pay for the cost of drying at the current market price for the corn and beans,â€ he continued. â€œCold weather has set in and now there is a dusting of snow. There could be corn still in the fields next spring.â€
The rain and snow that fell throughout the week dampened days suitable to fieldwork down to 3.5 statewide and idled harvesting machinery. â€œWe had some rain and snow last week. Some was more than we wanted,â€ the reporter from Burnett County observed.
The weather again kept harvest in Langlade County at a complete standstill. â€œItâ€™s cold, extremely wet, no sunshine,â€ the reporter said. The beans still look okay, he added, but the next 10 days would determine if the crop gets harvested.
Last weekâ€™s rain fell heaviest in a swathe across the middle of the state, measuring lower in the northwest and southeast. For the week, reported precipitation totals ranged from 0.37 inches in Milwaukee to 1.61 inches in Green Bay.
Kewaunee County got dumped on. â€œReceiving 6.0 inches of rain in places over the last week has curtailed harvest,â€ the reporter pointed out.
Conversely, the rainfall was not enough to discontinue the harvest in La Crosse County, where dust still rises as combines advance across the fields. Grant County reported the recent rains have slowed the harvest, but they have also recharged the soil.
The groundwater has not been recharged in Rock County. â€œExcavators are still commenting on how dry the subsoil is,â€ that reporter said.
It was the same in Vernon County. â€œFarmers are not complaining of the 1-2 inches of well-needed rain, even with the harvest slowed,â€ the reporter noted.
Heavy rains did slow the harvest â€œconsiderablyâ€ in Oconto County and brought it to a stop in Fond du Lac County. â€œWe may have to wait for the ground to freeze around here before operating a combine on the low ground, at least,â€ the reporter said.
The first full week of November was also cold. The ground was starting to freeze and ice was forming on the ponds and lakes in Sawyer County, where between two and five inches of snow fell on Veterans Day.
There was also ice on Lake Thunder in Oneida County, where temperatures were well below average and rainfall was above average. â€œWe had about three inches of snow over the last week and there is still some on the ground,â€ the reporter said.
In many areas of the state, standing corn and soybeans were too wet for storage. Dryers were working around the clock. Some producers were waiting for crops to cry down further or chopping their wet corn for silage, the report added.
In Buffalo County, where the deer rut is underway, 0.9 inches of rain fell during the week. â€œMoisture is too high yet and time is running out for warm days. It's too wet for baling bedding and some corn is showing mold growing on the ends of the cobs,â€ the reporter said.
Chippewa and Marathon Counties also reported a growing concern over mold on corn.
Lots of corn stalks and bean straw bales have been made in Grant County, where yields have been â€œgood with some very high contest yieldsâ€.
Fall harvest, tillage efforts hampered
Tillage efforts were hampered by the cold and wet conditions. In the eastern section of the state, where rainfall has been heavy over the last two weeks, water was reportedly standing in the fields.
As the first full week of November ended, 47 percent of fall tillage had been completed, seven percentage points behind the five-year average and 23 points off last yearâ€™s mark of 70 percent complete.
In Taylor County, where the harvest was well under way despite setbacks with the weather, corn, soybean and hay yield reports were all below average. â€œMany fields are planted to a fall crop in hopes of forage in the spring,â€ the reporter said. â€œI think many are ready to leave this year's crop season behind and look forward to next year.â€
Although the corn harvest in Rock County was all but complete as the week closed out, the stateâ€™s corn for grain harvest was only 62 percent complete, seven percentage points behind the five-year average and 31 percentage points behind last year's mark.
Grain moisture levels ranged from the mid-20s to the upper 30s across most of the state.
Oconto County reported corn is drying down very slowly, although the corn and soybeans that have been able to be harvested appear to be yielding above average. In Vernon County, corn moisture levels were still high, but test weights were coming in good.
In La Crosse County, the reporter observed, some corn and beans still had a high moisture content because of the wet spring. â€œWhere crops have just been harvested, some farmers are doing some sub-soiling as needed,â€ he added. â€œWith the previous wet spring, they recognize that compaction can be a problem.â€
The corn harvest was in full swing in Washington County and the soybean harvest was nearing completion. Statewide, soybeans were 86 percent harvested by Nov. 10, six percentage points behind the five-year average. Last year, growers had finished up their beans by then.
In Fond du Lac County, winter wheat drilled Oct. 11 emerged on Nov. 1. Germination was adequate and the stands are looking good, the reporter commented. In Washington County, early planted winter wheat looked good before the freezing temperatures set in, but late planted winter wheat had not yet emerged in Sheboygan County.
The weekly â€œWisconsin Crop Progress Reportâ€ 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.