Mother Nature doles out mixed bag of tricks to farmers

Colleen Kottke
Wisconsin State Farmer
Planting is close to finishing for most crops though the late frost may cause some replanting. The state's corn crop is reported 95% planted, with 77% of the crop emerged – 9 days ahead of the 5-year average. Corn condition is rated 81% good to excellent.

Mother Nature doled out a mixed bag of tricks to the state's farmers including torrential rains and frost. Despite the spectrum of weather conditions, Wisconsin had over four days of suitable weather for fieldwork for the week closing out the month of May. 

According to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, farmers had to contend with cooler weather last week, with some of the state experiencing temperatures at least 4 degrees below normal.

With temperatures dipping down to the low 30s, frost damage is possible in several areas, reporters noted.

Although most of Wisconsin remained short on moisture, scattered storms dropped larger amounts in some areas. Areas in Wood and Portage counties reported receiving over 2 inches of rain. Some of the storms were severe, with accounts of hail being reported in northern counties. Producers in western Wisconsin reported snow just days away from the first of June.

Planting is close to finishing for most crops though the late frost may cause some replanting. Topsoil moisture condition rated 2% very short, 14% short, 74% adequate and 10% surplus. Subsoil moisture condition rated 5% very short, 14% short, 73% adequate and 8% surplus.

Corn is reported 95% planted, with 77% of the crop emerged – 9 days ahead of the 5-year average. Corn condition is rated 81% good to excellent. This year's soybean crop is 91% planted, 4 days ahead of last year and 15 days ahead of the average. Well over half of the fields planted have emerged.

Oats are reported 98% planted, 13% of the crop headed. Oat condition is rated 84% good to excellent, 4 percentage points better than last week. Winter wheat is reported 34% headed, 9 days ahead of last year, and 7 days ahead of the average. Winter wheat condition was rated 90% good to excellent statewide.

Farmers made headway on haymaking, with 27% of the first cutting of alfalfa hay completed. The all hay condition was rated 72% good to excellent.