After cold start, harvest heats up

Colleen Kottke
Wisconsin State Farmer

Wisconsin had 5.6 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending October 23, 2022, After a cold start to the week ending Oct. 23, 2022, warm temperatures and dry conditions allowed farmers to make significant inroads on the fall harvest.

A blue sky provides a perfect backdrop for a combine and grain cart moving across a field in southern Wisconsin.

According to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, farmers had a window of nearly 6 days to work out in the fields, with both the potato and corn silage harvest nearing completion.

Many farmers recall past falls when persistent rain showers slowed harvest to a crawl and prevented crops from drying out. This year topsoil moisture condition rated 4% very short, 21% short, 73% adequate and 2% surplus. Subsoil moisture condition rated 3% very short, 19% short, 75% adequate and 3% surplus.

Ninety-six percent of corn was deemed mature. Harvest of corn for grain was 22% complete, 2 weeks behind lastyear and 4 days behind the 5-year average. Moisture content of corn harvested for grain was 23% with the crop condition rated as being 77% good to excellent statewide, down 1 percentage point from last week. Corn for silageharvest was 94% complete.

Combines could be found in a cloud of dust as they harvested the soybean crop. This year's harvest was 76% percent complete, 2 days ahead of last year and 8 days ahead of the average.

The potato crop of 2022 is nearly in the books with 95% being harvested. Winter wheat planted was at 91%. Winter wheat emerged was at 67%, 4 days ahead of the average. Winter wheat condition was rated 80% good to excellent statewide. Fall tillage was 43% complete, even with last year but 12 days ahead of the average.