Harvest speeds ahead with ideal weather conditions

Colleen Kottke
Wisconsin State Farmer
Farmers have been making the most of the good weather, making silage while harvesting the fourth crop of hay.

Ideal weather conditions provided farmers with a golden opportunity to continue harvesting corn silage and making a fourth crop of hay.

According to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Wisconsin had nearly 6 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending September 6, 2020. Although significant rainfall was out of the picture, temperatures permeated the state, with daytime highs reaching in the 70s but remaining in the 60s in northern Wisconsin.

Scattered thunderstorms brought a small amount of moisture, though soils remained unfavorably dry in some areas.

Corn and soybeans were maturing rapidly in response to dryer weather and shorter days. The snap bean and sweet corn harvests were winding down. Manure applications and winter wheat planting continued as fields were cleared.

According to crop reporters across the state, corn at dough stage or beyond was 94%, over 4 weeks ahead of last year and 10 days ahead of the 5-year average. Corn dented was 65%,three weeks ahead of last year and a week ahead of the average. Corn condition rated 78% good to excellent statewide, down 2 percentage points from last week.

Corn for silage harvested was 24% complete, well over three weeks ahead of last year, and 9 days ahead of the average.

Soybean fields continued to turn gold with over half of the fields across the state's fields coloring. Twelve percent of plants were reported to be dropping leaves, 12 days ahead of last year. Soybean condition rated 81% good to excellent statewide, down 1 percentage point from last week.

The oats harvest with nearly complete, wrapping up more than a month ahead of last fall. Potato harvest moved ahead steadily with 40% of the crop harvested. It looks to be a good year for potatoes with reporters rating the harvest 93% good to excellent statewide, up 4 percentage points from last week.

Farmers were also able to get winter wheat seed in the ground, with 22% of fields planted.

Hay equipment was in full use with third crop nearly completed for the season. Eager to get in a good supply of forage for the winter months, farmers began cutting the fourth crop, which is reported as 46% complete, complete, 15 days ahead of last year and 1 day ahead of the average. All hay condition rated 72% good to excellent statewide, down 2 percentage points from last week.

Pasture condition rated 59% good to excellent statewide, down 3 percentage points from last week.