Ideal weather prompts flurry of field activity across Wisconsin

Colleen Kottke
Wisconsin State Farmer
Farm machinery was out in full force this past week as above normal temperatures allowed for nearly 6 days of fieldwork.

Farm equipment was out in full force in farm fields across Wisconsin this past week as Mother Nature opened a wide window of opportunity for the spring planting season.

Wisconsin had nearly six days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending May 15, 2022, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The week brought unseasonably warm temperatures to the entire state, averaging 13.8 degrees above normal.

Periodic rainstorms later in the week delayed some fieldwork in the northern part of the state, but many farmers were able to make significant progress on planting and tillage. Several reporters in southern Wisconsin remarked they had never seen so much acreage planted in one week.

Topsoil moisture condition rated 2 percent very short, 11 percent short, 74 percent adequate and 13 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture condition rated 2 percent very short, 11 percent short, 77 percent adequate and 10 percent surplus.

In just a matter of days, spring tillage progress was reported as 57 percent complete, over 2 weeks behind last year and 5 days behind the 5-year average.

Corn planting was 34 percent complete, lagging 10 days behind last year and 5 days behind the average. earlier planted hree percent of corn had emerged, 9 days behind last year and 6 days behind the average.

Soybean planting was 26 percent complete, 9 days behind last year and 2 days behind the average. Soybeans emerged was 1 percent, 12 days behind last year and 8 days behind the average.

Oats planted was reported as 54 percent complete, over 2 weeks behind last year and 1 week behind the average. Twenty percent of oats had emerged, over 2 weeks behind last year and 11 days behind the average. Potato planting was reported as 69 percent complete, 9 days behind last year and 1 day behind the average. Winter wheat condition was rated 79 percent good to excellent statewide, up 1 percentage point from last week. All hay condition was reported 70 percent good to excellent condition, up 10 percentage points from last week. Winter freeze damage to alfalfa was rated 2 percent moderate and 10 percent light. Pasture condition was rated 57 percent good to excellent, up 9 percentage points from last week