Spring planting moves forward in Wisconsin

Colleen Kottke
Wisconsin State Farmer
Fieldwork across Wisconsin continued as warmer, drier weather moved in across the state last week.

While Mother Nature allowed Wisconsin farmers to make progress in readying fields for planting, temperatures dipping below freezing may have left frost damage to tender alfalfa and winter wheat plants.

Temperatures across the state ranged from 8 to 10 degrees below normal for this time of year, according to the report.

Thanks to a warming trend by the end of the week, farmers had 5 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending April 25, 2021, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Fieldwork in southern Wisconsin picked up steam, with corn starting to go in the ground in some areas. Soils remained too cold for corn planting in northern Wisconsin, but small grains and alfalfa planting continued.

Spring tillage was reported as 48% complete, 5 days ahead of last year and 12 days ahead of the average.

According to the report, 6 percent of the state's corn crop is in the ground, compared to 17% across the country, up 9 percent from the week before. Forty-five percent of Wisconsin's oat crop was reported as planted with 18 percent reported as emerged - a week ahead of last year.

Manure hauling and fertilizer applications were wrapping up earlier than usual thanks to below normal precipitation throughout March and April. 

Winter wheat condition was rated 85% good to excellent statewide, up 1 percentage point from last week. Spring tillage was reported as 48% complete, 5 days ahead of last year and 12 days ahead of the average.