Snow, cold temps freeze fieldwork in Wisconsin
With heavy snow falling across the state last week, it's no surprise farmers had only .9 days suitable for fieldwork, halting manure spreading and other early fieldwork, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service Wisconsin Crop Progress and Condition report.
While southern Wisconsin saw light snows that melted quickly, northern portions of the state remained buried under thick drifts.
Burnett and Washburn counties were buried under about 20 inches of snow. "It will take some warm weather to melt it before any fieldwork or planting is done," the report from that area stated.
The story in Clark County was snowing, blowing and frozen ground last week. "Hopefully next week is better, because robins have had three snows on their tails," the reporter said.
In Portage and Wood counties, more than 12 inches of snow kept anything from moving. Even sap hasn't run in the northern half of the county for the last two weeks and not much in the southern half, according to reports.
"Some are saying three weeks ago it ran very good with high sugar content of around 2.9, but the trees budded and they are done," the report stated.
Overnight lows dropped into the teens, keeping the ground frozen. Reporters noted that overwintered crops were greening in a few areas but remain snow covered in most of the state.
Snow cover and frost still remain on 75 percent of the cropland in Brown and Outagamie counties.
Moving south in the state, however, some dry fertilizer was reported going on crop fields and weather was favorable for hauling livestock manure. Other than that, not much has happened with crops so far.
Even with the cold weather there is daily activity in Green County and "a little tillage here and there," according to reports. Manure and fertilizer application continue, but slowly.
As of April 8, spring tillage was 1 percent complete statewide, 1 percentage point behind last year, and one point behind the five-year average.
Forecasts of warmer weather will be welcomed and "a good warm rain could really help warm the ground and ease some stress," the Lafayette County reporter said.