Dry weather pushes silage harvest ahead

Colleen Kottke
Wisconsin State Farmer
Soybean fields across Wisconsin are turning gold, signaling the end of summer.

With the days of summer winding down, fieldwork is moving steadily along towards harvesttime, with many farmers heading to the fields to begin making silage or plant winter wheat.

Last week Wisconsin had six days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Temperatures varied across the state but were near normal overall.

While precipitation remained below normal, many farms in the Fox River Valley reported damage from a hailstorm on Sept. 7. Damage was reported from the Appleton and Fond du Lac area south to the Illinois border.

The condition of this year's corn crop remained steady, with 74% of the crop being rated good to excellent.

Corn is reported 94% in the dough stage or beyond, 5 days behind last year but 9 days ahead of the 5-year average. Eighty-two percent of corn is dented, 4 days ahead of last year and 10 days ahead of the average.

Just 15% of the crop was deemed mature. Corn silage is 25% harvested, 6 days behind last year but 2 days ahead of the average

Soybean fields across the Badger state were turning gold with 22% of the soybeans dropping leaves. Soybean condition was 73% good to excellent, 1 percentage point below last week.

Potato harvest is reported 40% complete. Potato condition is rated 86% good to excellent, 4 percentage points below last week.

Winter wheat planted was 20% complete, 8 days behind last year but 3 days ahead of the average. Nine percent of winter wheat was emerged, 4 days ahead of last year and 7 days ahead of the average

The third cutting of alfalfa hay has nearly wrapped up with the final fourth cutting 68% complete, 4 days ahead of last year and 6 days ahead of the average. Pasture condition was rated 60% good to excellent, 3 percentage points below last week.