Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending December 7, 2014.
Temperatures were well below average at the beginning of this week, with overnight lows in the single digits or lower statewide. Temperatures then gradually rose to more seasonal levels by the weekend, with above-freezing days softening the ground in some areas. Northern portions of the state received a light dusting of snow on Tuesday, but in the south and west of the state it was a very dry week. Clear skies and well-frozen fields helped farmers harvest corn, though lingering snow cover kept progress slow for many.
Long lines at grain driers and elevators reportedly slowed progress further. Corn grain moisture content has not dropped appreciably in the past two weeks. Farmers raced to empty manure pits wherever conditions allowed, but deep frost and snow continued to prevent fall tillage in many areas. In portions of the state hardest hit by November blizzards, field operations were hampered or prevented by muddy soils beneath deep, insulating snow. With winter weather here to stay, corn and soybeans still standing in these areas will likely remain in fields until spring.
There were 4.6 days suitable for fieldwork.
Across the reporting stations, average temperatures were 3 to 9 degrees below normal. Average high temperatures ranged from 25 to 36 degrees, while average low temperatures ranged from 5 to 22 degrees. Precipitation ranged from 0.00 inches in Eau Claire, La Crosse, and Madison to 0.03 inches in Milwaukee.
As of December 7, corn for grain was 86 percent harvested with grain moisture at harvest averaging 21 percent. This makes 2014 the fourth latest corn harvest in the past thirty years, ahead of 1985, 1992, and 2009.
Selected Quotes from Farm Reporters and County Ag Agents
All comments are used in creating this report, but only a few are published below.
RUSK-G.P.: Harvest limps along with both corn and beans still to come off. Corn is slowly drying down, but still plenty in the upper 20s and low 30s. Most at this point won’t come off until spring. Soybeans are settling in around 18% and can’t go directly into storage. Local elevators are trying to set themselves up to dry beans, always a touchy deal, to help the farmers get the last of them off.
WASHBURN-P.H.: A bit of corn harvested this week. Still corn in fields. Some waiting for the snow to melt off the ears to help combining.
LINCOLN-K.S.: Continues to be muddy. Hard for the farmers to harvest their corn. Some manure hauling.
PRICE-D.E.: Farmers are struggling to get remaining corn and soybeans off fields, but excessive moisture and mud are hampering the process. Snow on the ground is insulating very well.
LANGLADE-A.K.: End of week and next week look promising, corn combines starting to roll. Manure coming out of pits to fields; this weather may have prevented some very concerning manure situations.
LA CROSSE-I.H.: Combination of snow, high humidity, cold and wind limited the amount of work that could be accomplished this week.
TREMPEALEAU-D.D.: Good progress on late corn harvest as temperatures warmed and snow left the corn plants.
WAUPACA-D.L.H.: Producers are working in earnest to get the remaining corn out of the fields. Still some soybeans left as well. For the most part the ground is frozen enough to support the harvest equipment. Farmers certainly faced many weather challenges during the 2014 year!
DOOR-R.S.: Lots of corn to be harvested yet. Not much corn done due to moisture. Got 1.5 inches of wet snow this morning.
MANITOWOC-M.R.: Saw one farm still chopping corn silage this past week.
SHEBOYGAN-M.B.: Corn standing in the field is still high in moisture – upper 20s and lower 30s. Test weights are low, especially on the late harvested corn.
VERNON-K.L.: Farmers harvesting corn for grain that has been left standing. Combines running slower than normal but the crop is coming off.
DANE-D.R.: Most of field work is spreading manure.
ROCK-C.O.: Harvest almost complete except for those that are always late to finish. It has been a good year for grain production.
WALWORTH-N.W.: Just a few fields of late planted corn left to harvest. Moisture is still high in those fields.
WAUKESHA-R.F.: Raining now. A little slippery.