Spring planting races forward
A slow-moving system of rain showers rolled across the state of Wisconsin over the weekend bringing much needed rain for newly planted crops.
According to the Wisconsin State Climatology Office, southeast Wisconsin received 4 to 5 inches of rain between May 12-18, prompting flood warnings, while northeast Wisconsin saw 1½ to 3 inches of precipitation. The central part of the state also received much needed moisture.
Topsoil moisture condition was rated 2% very short, 9% short, 74% adequate and 15% surplus. Subsoil moisture condition was rated 1% very short, 6% short, 74% adequate and 19% surplus, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Farmers were able to take advantage of dry conditions and below normal temperatures through the middle of last week as planting progressed rapidly for small grains, corn, soybeans, alfalfa, potatoes and spring vegetables. Cold soil temperatures and frosty nights continued to suppress crop development, however. Though corn planting was well ahead of normal, corn emergence was close to normal.
Hay stands were still short, and many farmers were busy tilling up replanting hayfields that succumbed to winterkill. One reporter noted frost damage to blooming orchards and commented that fruit producers were expecting yield losses.
Spring tillage was 91% complete, nearly a month ahead of last year and 15 days ahead of the 5-year average. Corn planting was 81% complete, 25 days ahead of last year and 12 days ahead of the average. Corn emerged was 15%, 11 days ahead of last year and 2 days behind the average.
Soybean planting was 61% complete, 24 days ahead of last year and 12 days ahead of the average. Oats planted were reported as 88% complete, 21 days ahead of last year and 8 days ahead of the average. Oats emerged was 56%, 16 days ahead of last year and 2 days ahead of the average
Potato planting was 80% complete, 5 days ahead of last year and 1 day ahead of the average. Winter wheat was rated 69% in good to excellent condition statewide, up 1 percentage point from last week. Pasture condition was rated 63% in good to excellent condition, improving 4 percentage points from last week.