Timely rains help pollination along
Although some mid-week showers last chased farmers out of the field, the timely moisture helped crops in some areas of the state.
There were 4.8 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending August 6, 2017, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.
"An inch and a quarter soaker rain late in the week turned around the drought stressed corn and soybeans on the sandy soils and hilltops," the Barron County reporter noted.
Clear weather early in the week allowed Wisconsin farmers to make good progress on combining small grains, baling hay, and harvesting forages.
Corn pollination was in full swing and soybeans were setting pods. Some reporters noted that uneven maturity and condition has persisted in fields.
"Some crops are looking good from the road, but getting into the field a few rows is another story.," said the reporter from Calumet County.
Up in central Wisconsin in Clark County, corn has emerged uneven and now the fields are tasseling uneven.
"Many fields are in varying stages of pollination. Some late planted corn are the most even for maturity, but will only be silage," the reporter observed.
Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 0 percent very short, 4 percent short, 81 percent adequate and 15 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 84 percent adequate and 15 percent surplus.
Eighty percent of Wisconsin’s corn has reached the silking stage or beyond, 8 days behind last year. Seventeen percent of the corn has reached dough stage, 4 days behind last year. Corn condition was 70 percent good to excellent, unchanged from last week.
"Corn is in full pollination and the scent is in the air. Prior to the rain, small grain harvest was going full speed," said the reporter from Waupaca and Outagamie counties.
Eighty-seven percent of the state’s soybeans were blooming, two days ahead of average. Sixty-one percent were setting pods, 1 day ahead of average. Soybean condition rated 75 percent good to excellent, 1 percentage point above last week.
Some soybeans show stress from excessive moisture up in Waupaca and Outagamie counties, according to the weekly report.
Oats turning color was reported at ninety percent, one week behind last year. Harvesting of oats for grain was reported at 28 percent complete, 9 days behind last year, and 8 days behind the average. Oats condition was 80 percent good to excellent, 3 percentage points above last week.
Oats fields are becoming ripe, but only a few are ready for harvest.," said the Clark County reporter. "One challenge is late season grass is now above the oats."
Winter wheat harvested was reported at 74 percent complete, 5 days behind last year. Winter wheat rated 77 percent good to excellent condition, 2 percentage points below last week.
The Shawano County reporter added that most of the winter wheat is off with yield ranging from 45-95 bushels per acre.
"There were a few loads that had high vomitoxin but thankfully not many," the reporter said.
The second cutting of alfalfa reached 95 percent complete, 7 days behind last year but equal to the average. The third cutting was reported at 53 percent complete, 4 days behind last year, but two days ahead of average. A fourth cutting has started in some areas. All hay condition was reported 81 percent good to excellent, 1 percentage point above last week.
Up in Waupaca and Outagamie counties, frequent showers in the later part of the week ended the short lived "window of opportunity" of favorable weather.
"Once again, it's become a challenge to harvest alfalfa and winter wheat," the reporter lamented.