Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending November 2, 2014.
Daytime temperatures on Monday of this week were in the 70s across much of the state. But by Friday, highs were barely making it out of the 30s, with overnight lows plunging into the teens and 20s. The cold front brought snow to central and northern Wisconsin, with amounts ranging from a dusting to over an inch. Some lodging of corn was also reported due to high winds associated with this system.
In spite of the cold snap, overall dry conditions helped harvest activity to progress quickly this week. Topsoil moistures were down slightly, allowing farmers in wet areas to access more of their fields. Soybean harvest was racing toward completion, with corn being harvested for silage, snaplage, and high moisture grain. Corn for dry grain was being combined statewide, though reporters noted that many farmers were still holding off harvest due to high grain moistures.
Manure hauling, tillage, and late winter wheat planting continued as fields were cleared. Reporters commented that hay stocks were variable this year, as frequent rains made it difficult to access hay stands and make dry hay. However, overall hay and roughage supplies were up over last year, with 4 percent short statewide compared to 26 percent short in 2013.
There were 5.6 days suitable for fieldwork this week.
Across the reporting stations, average temperatures were 1 degree below to 2 degrees above normal. Average high temperatures ranged from 52 to 56 degrees, while average low temperatures ranged from 30 to 38 degrees. Precipitation ranged from 0.00 inches in Eau Claire and La Crosse to 0.11 inches in Madison.
As of November 2, ninety percent of corn was mature. Corn for silage was 92 percent harvested and corn for grain was 33 percent harvested. Corn condition was rated 72 percent good to excellent.
Eighty percent of soybeans had been harvested, almost catching up to the five year average after weeks of delayed progress.
Winter wheat was 89 percent planted and 70 percent emerged. Winter wheat condition was rated 68 percent good to excellent.
The fourth cutting of alfalfa was 95 percent complete.
Hay and roughage supplies were 0 percent very short, 4 percent short, 81 percent adequate, and 15 percent surplus on average.
Fall tillage was 41 percent complete.
Selected Quotes from Farm Reporters and County Ag Agents
All comments are used in creating this report, but only a few are published below.
CHIPPEWA-R.M.: Harvesting high moisture corn, no drying going on yet. Moisture on corn for grain – mid 20s to mid 30s.
WASHBURN-R.H.: Getting ready for winter. Snow flurries coming this week. Had about 4 to 5 inches of snow along the lake.
CLARK-A.K.: Moisture content of beans, 14%. Fields of wheat are not coming up good since we had temps of 18 degrees Thursday night. Still could use dry weather.
PRICE-D.E.: Corn and soybean harvest is well under way, but wet conditions are creating a challenge for harvesters.
FLORENCE-T.B.: Corn silage harvest still going strong. Tillage activity slow at this time, expect once silage is complete it will pick up. Very cold and windy last half of the week.
BUFFALO-R.S.: A good dry week. Soybean harvesting done, corn harvest begun – moisture running 15 to 20%. Corn storage will be a problem. Here in deer country the rut has started with bow hunters having success. Baling, bedding and manure hauling next.
WAUPACA-D.L.H.: Fall harvest of soybeans and corn silage has picked up with favorable weather this past week. Moisture levels for corn need to come down.
KEWAUNEE-T.S.: Much more corn silage was chopped off this past week and the fall job is moving right along now. The ground is still wet, but it has been drying out somewhat in the past couple of weeks. This has made the fieldwork a bit easier. The rain that was predicted last week for the most part never materialized, which was appreciated by those wanting to get soybeans or corn silage or alfalfa off. The tonnage per acre for corn silage has been good, with a lot of corn in the corn silage. The stalks have been drying down with the frosts that have happened, but the cobs still have enough moisture to make good feed. The soybean harvest is progressing, but it is not done yet. In this area, yields have been disappointing this year. Yields ranging from 25 to 40 bushels per acre are the norm, quite a bit less than 2013’s numbers. The dry weather early, the cool temperatures and then too much rain all combined to bring the bushels down. The dry corn harvest is just starting, but it will be a slow and expensive drying season for this area’s producers. Most of the corn here is in the 30% plus moisture level, and not much drying will occur this month. This means a lot of wet corn will be combined, which will take a lot to dry. Some producers will wait as long as they can before harvesting the corn to try and reduce what it will cost to dry this crop. Fall tillage is going strong now, with a few fields being plowed. Some winter wheat has been planted, both no-till and conventional. In those areas where the weather allowed the planting to happen earlier, the wheat has been emerging and is looking good. Some fourth crop hay was chopped off this week, and manure hauling is just starting to take place before the winter weather freezes the ground.
WINNEBAGO-S.E.: Corn drydown slow.
VERNON-K.L.: Winter wheat still being planted and some emerged and looking nice. Farmers still working on soybeans, high moisture corn and starting in on dry grain. Local elevator reporting low test weights and moistures from 14-20 on the corn being delivered. Lots of private dryers running full force.
COLUMBIA-G.K.: Soybeans are almost all harvested, just a few scattered fields left. Corn moisture is running from 17 to 32 percent. Hay stocks are in great shape for the year. Pastures are still doing well. Had a hard freeze Saturday morning so alfalfa is frosted and done growing for the year.
DODGE-S.B.: Cold weather should help dry down the corn.
OZAUKEE-K.A.: Soybean combines in full harvesting. No corn combined to speak of. Early planted winter wheat looking good. Seen some wheat being planted on 10/31 after beans came off. Very windy on Friday, 10/31. Corn is still standing very well.