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Harvest and fall fieldwork winding down for the season

Colleen Kottke
Wisconsin State Farmer
Corn for grain harvest was 87% complete, more than 4 weeks ahead of last year and 16 days ahead of the 5-year average.

After enjoying a bit of Indian summer and making deep inroads into this year's harvest last week, heavy rain, snow and high winds slowed fieldwork to a crawl.

Harvest was speeding ahead with temperatures hovering in the 70s until cold rainy weather forced farmers out of the fields. Overnight temperatures dropped down into the teens on some nights, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Farmers were back in the fields this week – albeit moving slowly in muddy fields. According to the report, the soybean harvest was nearly complete in most areas across the state while the corn harvest was nearing the finish line as well.

Rain and snowmelt raised grain moistures and softened fields, however, stalling progress by the end of the week. Farmers in some areas may need to wait for muddy fields to freeze before they can get to the last of their corn.

Soybean straw and corn stalks were being baled for bedding. Fall planted crops and hay stands were looking good after the previous week’s warm spell. Fall tillage and manure spreading were ahead of schedule.

Topsoil moisture condition rated 1% very short, 12% short, 74% adequate and 13% surplus. Subsoil moisture condition rated 1% very short, 11% short, 78% adequate and 10% surplus.

Corn for grain harvest was 87% complete, more than 4 weeks ahead of last year and 16 days ahead of the 5-year average. The moisture content of corn harvested for grain was reported at 18%. Soybean harvest was 98% complete, more than 4 weeks ahead of last year and 23 days ahead of the average.

Ninety-three percent of winter wheat was emerged, more than 4 weeks ahead of last year and 10 days ahead of the average. Winter wheat condition rated 82% good to excellent statewide, down 2 percentage points from last week.

Fall tillage was reported as 68% complete, more than 4 weeks ahead of last year and 10 days ahead of the average.