Wisconsin corn crop numbers could lead to early harvest

Associated Press

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin farmers may expect an early harvest as the state's agriculture statistics show the growing season for corn is ahead of schedule.

The Department of Agriculture numbers indicate the state's corn is five days ahead of last year's harvest and the five-year average, WLUK-TV reported. Warmer temperatures have given many crops in the state the chance to grow.

A farmer steers his combine into a corn field along a rural byway in Juneau County.

An April blizzard set back farmers for planting, said Jonathan Wiese of Wiese Brothers Farms. But he said temperatures that reached the 90s jump-started his crop.

"We've got some corn that's 12-13 feet tall," said Wiese. "So, typically 10-12 feet is a really good crop."

Brown County Agronomist Brent Petersen said his county has been doing well, despite the lack of moisture this year.

The one thing that's going on right now, is since we've been so dry, the corn is starting to mature maybe a little bit sooner than we probably would have anticipated," said Petersen.

Harvesting early would give producers a chance to plant winter cover crops early as well, said Petersen.

"It's real important for us to try and get some decent rooting on some of these cover crops, so from that standpoint, from the conservation standpoint, it could be fantastic that way," he said.