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Storms roll across Wisconsin delivering much needed rain

Colleen Kottke
Wisconsin State Farmer
While rain showers bypassed many farms in southwestern Wisconsin last week, those in the central area of the state like Juneau County received several inches of rain, resulting in localized flooding.

While rain showers dumped much needed moisture across much of the state last week, some areas desperate for rain were left wanting.

Wisconsin reported 5.3 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending Aug. 30, 2020, according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Daytime highs reached the upper 80s to lower 90s at the beginning of the week before cooling down for the weekend. 

Many farmers parked their hay equipment as storms rolled across the area bringing significant rainfall to much of the state, especially central Wisconsin which reported heavy downpours and localized flooding. A few reporters noted rainfall accumulation ranging from 3 to 8 inches in isolated areas.

Mother Nature bypassed several areas of the state that have experienced little rainfall over the past few weeks, with reporters noting that dry conditions have worsened.

Corn silage chopping and winter wheat planting were underway as the small grain harvest winds up. Summer vegetable harvesting continued with several apple orchards beginning to pick early varieties.

Corn sough stage or beyond was reported at 88%, over four weeks ahead of last year and 11 days ahead of the 5-year average. Corn continues to march towards maturation with 45% of the crop entering the dent stage. Corn condition was rated 80% good to excellent statewide. Corn for silage harvest was just 8% complete, three weeks ahead of last year.

Nearly 96% of the soybean crop was setting pods, a month ahead of last year, with 20% of soybean fields beginning to color. Soybean condition was rated 82% good to excellent statewide, unchanged from last week.

The oats harvest is 94% complete, while the potato harvest made significant gains at 28% complete. Just 89% of the crop was rated good to excellent, down 4 percentage points from last week.

Many farmers wrapped up their third cutting of alfalfa with 92% of the third crop completed, 19 days ahead of last year. Some producers have already begun the fourth cutting, 22% of the final cutting complete. All hay condition was rated 74% good to excellent.