Weather helping some crops catch up, causing damage for others

Carol Spaeth-Bauer
Wisconsin State Farmer
Cutting second crop hay Fond du Lac County.

While sunny, humid conditions and normal temperatures boosted crop progress last week, a few isolated thunderstorms strong enough to cause more storm damage moved into some areas of the state causing more damage. 

In Pierce County, strong storms hit the Hager City, Bay City and Ellsworth area late into the evening on July 28. Storm damage was yet to be assessed, according to the The U.S. Department of Agriculture Wisconsin Crop Progress and Condition report for the week ending July 28. The storm brought heavy winds and a high volume of rain the Portage reporter said. 

Reporters noted that wind-flattened corn was recovering well, while some small grains were lodged badly enough to impact harvest.

"Strong winds and heavy rain last weekend flattened some crops," said the Portage County reporter. "Starting to see some goose-necking in corn because of this and some small grains fields are going to be difficult to harvest."

In Wood County, cleanup from winds, dealing with power outages and wet fields kept most producers out of the field during the week, the reporter said. Most corn was short enough to recover from lodging.

Corn and soybeans grew rapidly, with the more favorable conditions last week, though crop development remained behind normal after very late plantings this spring, according to the report. 

In Burnett and Washburn counties, corn, soybeans and small grains are a week or two behind due to late planting and the cool spring. Corn and soybeans are curling during hot days on the sandy soils, the reporter noted.

"Warm temperatures and high humidity levels are helping the crops recover," the Sheboygan County reporter said. "There is still a lot of unevenness. Wheat harvest has begun, and corn is tasseling. A nice shower would be welcome at this point."

Corn is rough looking across most of Manitowoc County due to weather conditions and planting dates/conditions, the reporter said. "It is anywhere from 12 inches tall to 6 feet tall all in the same field. Hopefully some heat and timely rains will allow for it to even out and catch up."

Some third crop alfalfa was harvested in Manitowoc County and winter wheat harvest has begun with reports of 75-80 bushel per acre yields.

Producers sprayed fields, combined winter wheat and baled plenty of hay during the window of favorable weather.last week. Some areas with sandy soil were in need of rain as the week closed.

Corn silking was reported at 28% complete, 14 days behind last year.

Soybeans blooming was reported at 48%, 13 days behind last year and 10% of soybeans were setting pods,15 days behind last year.

Ninety-four percent of winter wheat acres were coloring, 8 days behind last year with 10% of winter wheat harvest reported complete.

Oats headed was reported at 93%, 11 days behind last year.

The second cutting of alfalfa hay was reported as 78% complete, 10 days later than last year. The third cutting was reported as 5% complete, 12 days behind the average.

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