April snow shuts down farmers' hopes for fieldwork

Carol Spaeth-Bauer
Wisconsin State Farmer
This soil await spring tilling.

Is it any surprise that farmers barely had any chance for fieldwork last week and the little window they did have was slammed shut by snow? 

Most of Wisconsin saw blizzard conditions, with many places reporting record snowfall, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Wisconsin Crop Progress and Condition report. Field were warming up at the beginning of the week, but cold and snow put a stop to any fieldwork. 

More than 11 inches of snow fell in Dunn County on April 11. Chippewa and Marinette County recorded 10 inches of snow on April 10 and 11. Clark County was hit by 8 to 10 inches. Shawano County had 8 inches of snow on April 11, followed by cold temperatures. Waupaca got 5 to 6 inches of snow and ice on April 11 and down in Walworth County, three inches of snow came with the storm last week.

April snow throughout much of Wisconsin put a halt to fieldwork last week.

Some areas reported manure and fertilizer being applied, while others couldn't get on any fields with equipment. In Ozaukee and Washington counties, reporters said there is still a lot of wheat and rye acres that look poor and farmers are waiting to see if there will be a viable crop this year. Marathon County reporters noted concern about winterkill on winter wheat. 

As one can guess, farmers are eager to begin planting but field conditions are not cooperating. 

Even as the fluctuating weather changes sap flow, sending maple syrup producers on a rollercoaster ride, the maple syrup season is drawing to a close. 

Carol Spaeth-Bauer at 262-875-9490 or Follow her on Twitter at cspaethbauer or Facebook at