Soggy conditions stall fieldwork across the state

Carol Spaeth-Bauer
Wisconsin State Farmer
This fall planted oats field resembles a small lake following the band of heavy showers that moved across Wisconsin on Oct. 1, 2019.

Wet, wet, wet, sums up what farmers faced last week when it came to fieldwork. Heavy rains pushed across the state, making already high soil moisture even higher. Precipitation totals were reported between 2 to 7 inches for the week.

While farmers may be anxious to get corn silage chopped, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) farm reporters noted tractors stuck in the mud leaving deep ruts in the fields all across the state, according to the latest Wisconsin Crop Progress and Condition report. 

Extremely wet conditions in Oconto County brought reports of sunken tractors and broken axles on wagons stuck in the mud while trying to harvest corn. 

The water table is rising in Adams, Green Lake and Marquette counties making potato harvest very difficult. 

Ozaukee and Washington counties were swimming in 5 to 7 inches of rain on one night. Manitowoc County saw more than 6 inches of rain, bringing fieldwork to a standstill. 

Farmers in Crawford County tried chopping corn but were getting stuck everywhere. 

In Door and Kewaunee counties, some farmers tried to get in the fields to start silage, "but spent as much time digging equipment out of the mud as they did harvesting," the reporter said. "Even in the lightest soil on bedrock is in standing water right now. We need some sun and wind to help out the situation." 

Only in Dane County was there a glimmer of hope with corn silage pretty much completed and one field of corn for grain tested at 30% moisture and another at 29%. Some corn ears were showing mold from the rain, according to the report. 

Overall, corn is three to four weeks behind last year. 

In Barron County soybean grain moisture got close to harvest levels but fields were too wet. Small grain seeding has been delayed as well. 

The reporter in Rusk County said soybeans are getting closer to harvest with diseases responsible for some of that.

The Clark County reporter noted a good harvest of pumpkins and apples. 

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