Warm weather pushes crops into overdrive
A second week of hot, dry and sunny conditions gave crops in Wisconsin a needed boost in development as temperatures rose into the upper 80 and 90s last week.
"Warmest weather of the crop year pushed maturation of the row crops and set the corn silage harvest to overdrive," said the report from Fond du Lac and Washington County in the Wisconsin Crop Progress and Condition report.
With six days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending Sept. 24, crops were maturing and drying down rapidly in the heat. Most counties reported big changes in corn silage and soybean maturation, although many areas are behind schedule. Corn silage harvest was taking off and some producers in southern Wisconsin are combining soybeans.
Shawano County is still behind in maturity for corn and soybeans, but the "extremely warm weather is helping tremendously," and the lack of rain recently is finally allowing fields to dry out, according to the crop progress report.
In Columbia County, high heat and lack of moisture "has almost stopped plant growth in its tracks. Corn and beans are beginning to dry rapidly as a result," the report said.
While many areas saw big changes, Bayfield and Douglas counties had more rain. Soybean maturity is "way behind normal as there still is very little coloring even this late," it said in the crop report.
Fall tillage and winter what planting progressed as fields were cleared according to the report.
Ninety-five of Wisconsin's corn has reached the dough stage or beyond, four days behind the five-year average. Eighty percent of the corn as reached the dented stage, four days behind the average. Twenty-three percent was mature, nine days behind the average.
Corn acres harvested for silage was reported at 34 percent complete, seven days behind average, while corn condition was 69 percent good to excellent.
On the state's soybean acreage, leave were turning color on 81 percent of the crops, nine days behind last year and four days behind the average. Soybean harvest is just getting underway with 46 percent dropping leaves (a week behind last year) and soybean condition rated 74 percent good to excellent.
Winter wheat planting is ahead of schedule from last year with 39 percent of the state's acres planted.
Potato harvest is 64 percent complete and a fourth cutting of alfalfa was reported at 89 percent complete, eight days ahead of last year.