Crops continue to flourish under good growing conditions

Colleen Kottke
Wisconsin State Farmer
The grain harvest is underway across Wisconsin as the warm, dry weather has provided an ideal growing season for farmers.

Cooler temperatures across the state were a welcome respite for both man and beast. As the month of July wound to a close, daytime highs ranged from the 70s to low 90s and overnight lows brought crisp fall-like temperatures in the upper 40s in northern Wisconsin.

The relatively cool, dry week provided ideal conditions for combining small grains and drying hay, while in other fields soybean and corn plants were developing pods and ears.

According to the latest weekly crop progress summary from the Wisconsin Ag Statistics Service, reporters noted that crops on shallow and sandy soils in some areas were beginning to look dry.

The harvest of winter wheat moved ahead with 62% of the crop reported as being harvested, more than a week ahead of last year. Condition of the crop across the state was rated as 78% good to excellent. 

Oat fields continued to turn gold under the summer sun with coloring at 95%, more than three weeks ahead of last year. The harvest of the small grains was a week ahead of last year with 34% of this year's crop already harvested.

Soybean development also raced ahead of schedule compared to last year, with 89% of the crop in bloom. Soybean pod setting was 63%, over two weeks ahead of last year. Eighty-one percent of the crop was rated as good to excellent statewide.

All but 16% of the corn crop was silking, with 19% of the corn at dough stage. The corn condition of the crop was rated 81% good to excellent, just down one percentage point from last year.

Potato growers were busy out in the fields harvesting this year's crop, with 7% of the crop already out of the ground. Although the potato harvest was three days behind the average, growers were pleased with the condition of the crop, with 92% being rates good to excellent.

As summer moved into the month of August, the third cutting of alfalfa was underway with the second crop being reported as 93% complete - 9 days ahead of last year. All hay condition was reported 80% good to excellent.