Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending June 15, 2014.
Temperatures were slightly below average this week as producers raced to finish planting, spraying, and haying. Scattered thunderstorms brought heavy precipitation where they hit. Northwestern Wisconsin experienced several rain events, interrupting fieldwork yet again. However, sunny and windy conditions across the south reportedly dried and crusted soils. Topsoil moistures were 15 percent surplus on average, compared to 21 percent surplus last week.
Reporters statewide commented that the first crop of alfalfa had good quality and quantity, but in some areas there was not enough time between rains to make dry hay. After this late and chilly spring, corn, soybeans, and small grains need sustained heat to promote development. Several reporters noted that fruits, including cranberries, grapes, blueberries, and apples, were struggling to recover from the unusually long and cold winter.
There were 5.6 days suitable for fieldwork statewide.
Across the reporting stations, average temperatures last week were 1 to 6 degrees below normal. Average high temperatures ranged from 67 to 78 degrees, while average low temperatures ranged from 49 to 56 degrees. Precipitation totals ranged from 0.01 inches in Green Bay to 1.19 inches in Eau Claire.
As of June 15, spring tillage was 97 percent complete statewide.
Corn was 96 percent planted and 88 percent emerged, with 82 percent in good to excellent condition.
Soybeans were 93 percent planted and 76 percent emerged, with 77 percent in good to excellent condition.
Oats were 94 percent emerged, with 14 percent heading. Condition was rated 87 percent good to excellent statewide.
Fifty-eight percent of winter wheat was heading, with 68 percent of the crop in good to excellent condition.
Potatoes were 87 percent in good to excellent condition.
All hay was 89 percent in good to excellent condition statewide.
The first cutting of alfalfa was 74 percent complete, up 25 points from the previous week.
Pasture condition was rated 86 percent good to excellent.
Selected Quotes from Farm Reporters and County Ag Agents
All comments are used in creating this report, but only a few are published below.
BARRON-D.B.: Oats are looking great. Best cutting of first crop alfalfa in several years.
BAYFIELD/DOUGLAS-C.B.: Rain off and on throughout the area. Farmers continue fieldwork between the rains. A few crops are yellowing in the low areas of some fields due to excess moisture.
SAWYER-K.S.: Most of spring field work is completed. Still some unplanted areas due to wetness. Warmer dry weather has help push things along. Corn looks very nice although there are some areas on heavier soil showing signs of stress. Similar in soybeans. Saw some really nice alfalfa first cut in south Sawyer County. Yield of first crop look really good too. Some did get rained on. Cranberry crop also looking good, some patches of winter injury. Higher than average reports of winter die back or in some cases tree/shrub death, especially in apples and ornamentals.
MARATHON-G.M.: Good week. Doesn’t look good for harvesting hay. Looks good for other crops growing.
FLORENCE-T.B.: Planting for the most part is done. Have some heavy ground areas making it difficult to complete. Haying started but weather making it hard for baling. Seems to be a lot of tonnage making it hard to dry. Only getting narrow windows of drying time.
BUFFALO-R.S.: Lots of hay harvested – hard to get dry hay made. Planting all done, crop spraying mostly done. 0.45 inches rain for the week.
LA CROSSE-I.H.: Balers are going at a high rate – any dark cloud increases the speed to complete the task before rain falls. The hay in places is a little course due to the heat and rain causing rapid growth. Other crops are looking good. Top soil is a little dusty at times and ruts in the fields from past rains are hard on the machinery. Still, farmers are happy to be able to get their hay in before rain falls again.
JUNEAU-J.W.: Fantastic hay crop. Corn and beans are coming along but color isn’t real good. It was a very windy week which appeared to be hard on the young corn and soybean plants. The wind, warm temperatures, and dry weather, really dried out everything and there soil has gotten real hard and crusted. Some reports that blueberry blossoms were scarce and production could be down significantly.
DOOR-R.S.: Hay looks very good.
OUTAGAMIE-J.B.: June 10th was the cutoff for beans, but there were lots of beans being planted last week.
SHEBOYGAN-M.B.: Despite a late planting start, crops are generally looking good. Wheat is heading. Most first crop hay harvested.
CRAWFORD-J.B.: A lot of first crop hay was harvested last week. So far corn, soybeans, wheat, barley, oats, hay and pasture throughout the county all look good. A nice easy rain wouldn’t hurt a thing.
GRANT-R.R.: The rains keep missing Grant County.
SAUK-C.N.: Could use some rain.
DODGE-S.B.: There have reports of fungus affecting the winter wheat. Hay making progressed very well this past week. Temperatures have been moderate so far this season.
ROCK-C.O.: Corn yellowing due to lack of heat units. Weed pressure high in soybean fields.
WALWORTH-N.W.: Corn looks good so far. Nice one inch rain on Wednesday.
WASHINGTON-J.N.: Bumper crop of first crop hay. Corn is 15 inches tall on average. Late planting of corn is 2 inches tall. Can use 0.5 inch of nice, slow rain.