Wisconsin: Snow and Mud Slow Harvest – USDA

    Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending November 20, 2014.

    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.: Corn harvest slowly moves on. Lots of manure to be spread yet.

    BAYFIELD-C.B.: Despite snow cover, some farmers are still combining and chopping corn.

    SAWYER-K.S.: Winter’s early arrival is hampering the last of corn harvest, manure hauling and other needed fall activities. Corn is still being combined and manure hauled. The snow has settled substantially and the ground is starting to freeze, allowing for harvest to continue.

    CLARK-R.H.: Last weekend we lost all the snow and had rain, then this week started with snow again. Field conditions are wet and unfrozen. It may be near impossible to harvest corn unless the ground freezes. Corn moisture is around 25-28% from conversations with farmers and at the dryer. Manure pits still need to be emptied so it will be interesting.

    MARATHON-G.M.: Very wet week last week.

    MARINETTE-N.S.: With the return of snow and well below normal temperatures, fall tillage and manure handling has come to an end. Intermittent snowfall over the week halted any progress of harvesting corn for grain.

    SHAWANO-B.R.: With 6-8 inches of snow on the ground, some fields thawed out enough to do some tillage. Wet fields will not freeze over good with all the snow in them now. Heavy snow on the corn stopped any combining for the week. Lots of it out in the field yet with moisture ranging from 20-38%. Most of it is above 25%.

    BUFFALO-R.S.: Due to the late corn harvest, very little corn stalk bedding got dry enough to chop or bale – bedding availability will be very short for livestock. There’s still lots of corn to harvest and some is starting to fall down. Ground is frozen.

    EAU CLAIRE-A.B.: Cold weather and snow stopped harvest. Temperatures are on a roller coaster ride; we reached a high of 42 of Saturday, our November thaw, but Monday morning was down to zero with a wind chill factor of 15 below. Producers still have high hopes of finishing soybean and corn harvest when the weather cooperates.

    JUNEAU-J.W.: Farmers did make some progress but harvesting has still been a struggle. Low temperatures and just enough snow caused the problems. However, warmer temps melted snow over the weekend and made fields greasy so harvest was slowed some more. Hopefully the forecast of cold temperatures and dry conditions will allow farmers to have a good week for harvest and get things finished up.

    PORTAGE-J.B.: All the snow we received last week stuck to everything. Combines sat in the shed all week as the temps were too warm and the snow would plug them up. This week will be cold so I’m sure they will run in full force.

    FOND DU LAC-B.P.: Deer hunting went well. Grain harvest should be completed in the next 7 to 8 days.

    OUTAGAMIE-J.B.: Rained Monday then changed to heavy snow. Lots of corn left to be harvested.

    GRANT-E.B.: No winter wheat planted in this area, must have gotten too late to plant it.

    DODGE-R.H.: Had 1 inch of rain last week, then 4 inches of snow. Cold weather, so some tillage was done.

    GREEN-J.T.: A thaw allowed some to continue with fall tillage. Corn harvest progressed rapidly.

    KENOSHA-R.R.: The top of the ground is frozen, making it impossible to do any tillage. The corn does not want to dry down – some is over 27%

    WASHINGTON-J.N.: Finished corn harvest Sunday evening, 11-31-14. Yield was 155 to 200 bushels per acre.


    Plunging temperatures turned last weekend’s rain into widespread snow this Monday, once again stalling harvest activities. Days and nights of wintery cold were followed by above-freezing temperatures, melting snow off of standing crops and turning the ground muddy.

    Some farmers forged ahead with combining and manure spreading despite the sticky snow and mud. However, adverse field and weather conditions, the Thanksgiving holiday, and Wisconsin’s annual deer hunt kept progress slow. Isolated soybean fields were still standing, mostly in the northern part of the state. Reporters noted that many of these will not be harvestable until spring.

    Standing corn may also prove inaccessible in some areas with heavy snow on the ground. But with the widespread loss of snow cover late this week and cold, clear weather forecasted for the coming week, farmers were hopeful that most of the corn remaining in fields will be harvested soon.

    There were 2.6 days suitable for fieldwork.

    Across the reporting stations, average temperatures were 5 to 7 degrees below normal. Average high temperatures ranged from 32 to 40 degrees, while average low temperatures ranged from 18 to 25 degrees. Precipitation ranged from 0.68 inches in Eau Claire to 2.28 inches in Green Bay.

    As of November 30, corn for grain was 78 percent harvested with grain moisture at harvest averaging 21 percent.

    Winter wheat was 93 percent emerged. Winter wheat condition was rated 67 percent good to excellent.

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