Harvest moving full speed ahead
Farm machinery was moving about on byways and in farm fields across Wisconsin last week, as Mother Nature provided a wide-open window of good conditions for this fall's harvest.
According to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, temperatures were slightly above normal across the state while rainfall varied widely, from over 3 inches to less than ¼ inch.
Wisconsin farmers had a busy week for fieldwork, with corn for grain and silage, soybeans, and hay are coming off the fields, fall tillage and manure spreading. Producers were also able to make inroads in planting next year's winter wheat crop.
Topsoil moisture condition still remained on the dry side, with 11 percent rated very short, 17 percent short, 69 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture condition rated 9 percent very short, 15 percent short, 72 percent adequate and 4 percent surplus.
Corn is reported 96 percent dented. Sixty-one percent of corn was mature, 2 days behind last year but 7 days ahead of the 5- year average. Harvest for grain is 5 percent complete, 2 days ahead of last year and 5 days ahead of the average. Corn condition was 76 percent good to excellent, one percentage point above last week.
Farmers moved quickly to make corn silage, with 80 percent of the crop harvested – 16 days ahead of the average. Nearly all the soybeans fields across the state had turned color with 80 percent of the plant dropping leaves.
The soybean harvest is 11 percent complete, with the condition being rated 75 percent good to excellent, up 2 percent from last week.
The potato harvest is reported 63 percent complete with winter wheat planting at 42 percent complete, 9 days behind last year but 4 days ahead of the average. Eighteen percent of winter wheat was emerged.
This year's alfalfa harvest is nearly complete with 89 percent of the fourth crop of hay already in bunkers, bags, silos or hay lofts.
Fall tillage is reported 10 percent complete, a week ahead of last year.