Crops continue to show stress

Wisconsin State Farmer


It’s been a case of good news, bad news for farmers across the state.

While some farmers were busy taking off their second cutting of hay, many struggled to just get into the fields for their first cutting, according to the “Wisconsin Crop Progress & Condition Report” noted.

There were 4.6 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending July 9, 2017. Temperatures hovered near the average mark, with daytime highs in the 80s and 90s. However, scattered thunderstorms kept fields from drying out in some areas.

Reporters from around the state said that while crops on higher ground and lighter soils showed improvement with the week’s heat, those crops planted on low ground and heavy soils were displaying signs of distress.

Farmers were still struggling with wet field conditions and drowned out areas. According to NASS, 98% of the soybean crop has emerged.

As of Sunday, the topsoil moisture supplies were rated at 0 percent very short, 2 percent short, 75 percent adequate and 23 percent surplus.

Crop observers attributed crop stress to late replantings and emerging crop disease, along with scattered reports of hail damage in some areas of the state.

A few producers took advantage of an extended window of clear weather to bale dry hay this week, while others noted that cut hay was still lying in wet fields.

The second cutting of alfalfa was reported as 54 percent complete, 8 days behind last year, but 1 day ahead of the average. Third cutting has started in some areas. All hay condition was reported 78 percent good to excellent, 1 percentage points above last week.

Corn condition was rated 69 percent good to excellent, 2 percentage points below last week. Twenty-two percent of the state’s soybeans have bloomed, a week behind last year, but one day ahead of average. Soybean condition was rated 74 percent good to excellent, still 1 percentage point below last week.

Although oats were lagging a week behind last year’s progress, 85 percent of the oats crop was headed. Oats turning color was reported at 28 percent, six days behind last year. Oats condition remained unchanged at 78 percent good to excellent.

Winter wheat coloring was reported at 80 percent, and the crop condition was rated 78 percent good to excellent statewide.

The “Wisconsin Crop Progress Report” is a cooperative effort of the UDSA, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, and the National Weather Service.