Summer fades away as corn, soybeans still need heat to mature

Carol Spaeth-Bauer
Wisconsin State Farmer
A bale of hay soars through the air as a farmer makes hay on his farm in Eau Claire County.

Cooler nights, below average temps by day, not as much rain summed up the almost six days suitable for fieldwork in the state last week. 

The final week of August brought daytime highs in the 70s and 80s and overnight lows dipping into the 40s with areas near the Michigan border hitting the upper 30s, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wisconsin Crop Progress and Condition report. 

Harvest activities were going strong for dry hay, small grains, potatoes and vegetables, but heat is still needed to help corn and soybeans mature. White mold was reported in some soybean fields in Shawano County. Soybean fields in Chippewa County were beginning to turn color, especially in field areas suffering from moisture stress in August. 

Soybean blooming was reported at 92% complete, 20 days behind last year and the average, and 81% of soybeans were setting pods, 18 days behind the average. 

A lot of second and third crop hay was harvested across the state and some fourth crop hay in Dane County. Third cutting of alfalfa was 79% complete, 11 days behind the average and fourth cutting was 19% complete, 10 days behind the average. 

In Clark County, a few corn fields were opened up as some farmers said they were running out of corn silage. Farmers in Pierce County are also short of feed, according to the farm reporter and small amounts of corn silage have been harvested for feed, regardless of maturity or quality.

Producers in Chippewa County have concerns about corn making grain before a killing frost. Across the state, corn silking was reported at 92% complete with 61% of corn having reached the dough stage, 14 days behind last year. Eighteen percent of corn was dented, 13 days behind last year. 

Winter wheat harvest is nearly complete across the state and 96% of oats were coloring or beyond with 73% harvested. 

Manure hauling and fall seeding continued on cleared fields and previously unplanted acres. 

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