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Wisconsin Crop Weather Report

Issued September 17 for Week Ending September 16, 2018

Usual Planting and Harvesting Dates

The Wisconsin Crop Weather Report is updated weekly by the Wisconsin Agricultural Statistical Service.

Vol. 18, No. 25

Harvest Ramps Up Under Clear Skies

There were 6.6 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending September 16, 2018, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Wisconsin farmers took to the fields this week during a much-needed stint of dry weather. Clear, sunny skies and above normal temperatures firmed up wet ground and pushed crops quickly toward maturity. Corn silage chopping was speeding along with a few reports of high moisture grain harvest beginning. Conditions were also excellent for haying, with the third and fourth crops both moving toward completion. Soybeans were drying down and losing leaves rapidly, with combining beginning in isolated areas. Potatoes, apples and fall vegetables were also being harvested. Post-storm cleanup was still ongoing in the worst affected portions of the state. Some reporters noted that wind and flood damaged corn was harvestable, while others said flooded crops may be a total loss.

Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 1 percent very short, 6 percent short, 81 percent adequate and 12 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 1 percent very short, 6 percent short, 81 percent adequate and 12 percent surplus.

Wisconsin Crop Conditions
Item V-Poor Poor Fair Good Excellent
Corn 3 6 17 42 32
Hay, All 2 6 19 48 25
Pasture & Range 3 8 25 42 22
Potatoes 3 7 13 50 27
Soybeans 2 7 17 45 29
Source: USDA, NASS, Wisconsin Field Office.

Ninety-six percent of the corn has reached the dough stage, 10 days ahead of last year and 7 days ahead of the 5-year average. Eighty-two percent of corn was dented, 10 days ahead of last year and 7 days ahead of the average. Thirty-six percent was mature, 8 days ahead of the average. There were a few reports of corn being harvested for grain. Corn for silage was 37 percent harvested, 6 days ahead of average. Corn condition was 74 percent good to excellent.

Leaves were turning color on 78 percent of soybeans, 7 days ahead of last year and 5 days ahead of the average. Thirty-seven percent were reported dropping leaves, 6 days ahead of last year and 5 days ahead of the average. Soybean harvest was just getting underway. Soybean condition was 74 percent good to excellent.

Oats harvested for grain was reported as 97 percent complete, even with last year and 1 day ahead of the average.

Potato harvest was reported as 42 percent complete, 2 days behind last year. Potato condition was 77 percent good to excellent.

Twenty-three percent of winter wheat was planted, 1 day ahead of last year. Eight percent of the winter wheat crop has emerged, 2 days ahead of last year.

The third cutting of alfalfa was 96 percent complete, 8 days behind last year and even with the average. The fourth cutting was 65 percent complete, 3 days behind last year, but 4 days ahead of the average. All hay condition was reported 73 percent in good to excellent condition.

Pasture condition was rated 64 percent in good to excellent condition, compared with 66 percent in good to excellent condition last week.

Wisconsin Crop Progress
Crop and percent
of acreage
District Average State Average
Alfalfa Hay, Third Cutting 94 86 98 95 97 99 96 98 99 96 93 100 96
Alfalfa Hay, Fourth Cutting 68 37 67 64 62 75 68 67 56 65 47 73 59
Corn Dough 92 79 95 98 97 92 98 99 99 96 92 92 92
Corn Dented 78 62 69 91 83 65 90 93 81 82 70 64 71
Corn Mature 26 19 19 32 44 29 32 56 46 36 21 9 20
Corn Harvested for Silage 34 29 40 47 32 22 53 51 45 37 12 13 23
Oats Harvested for Grain 95 97 96 97 96 94 100 100 100 97 92 97 96
Potatoes Harvested 52 22 34 36 45 n.a. 47 28 n.a. 42 28 43 n.a.
Soybeans Coloring 89 63 57 83 82 68 84 81 71 78 54 57 63
Soybeans Dropping Leaves 49 35 22 39 40 22 36 41 41 37 14 17 22
Winter Wheat Planted 30 31 24 25 22 31 27 15 11 23 13 20 10
Winter Wheat Emerged 7 13 13 7 9 9 3 6 3 8 2 4 2
n.a. = not available

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-T.P.: Most corn is losing its green color and soybeans are dropping leaves. A killing frost would help to dry down plants that have some green color yet. Corn silage harvest is happening with some planting of fall cover crops.

RUSK-G.P.: A warm and dry week last week moved crops along. Soybeans are drying down and some are close to harvest. Corn silage is ongoing but no high moisture yet and, with prices where they are, dry corn will sit in the field as long as possible to minimize drying costs. Lots of hay put up last week with the dry weather, finishing that up for the year. Winter small grains are going in now and could use a drink, but farmers are hoping for continued dry weather for corn silage harvest.

CLARK-R.H.: Early planted corn is being harvested for corn silage and some high moisture corn was harvested this week. Later planted corn for silage will be chopped in the next week or so. Soybeans saw a few fields off and some late planted soybeans are still green. With nice weather, everyone who wanted to cut third or fourth crop hay appears to have completed the task this week. Lots of pumpkins at the roadside stands and apple harvest has begun. With corn coming off the field, manure is being applied to fields and cover crops being planted.

SHAWANO-B.R.: Great weather allowed the fields to dry out in our area this week. Forage harvesters were in the corn fields in every direction with a lot of acres chopped off now. There were even a couple farmers that started doing high moisture corn but most of the corn is not mature yet. Soybeans are starting to drop leaves. It also was a very good week to make dry hay with the hot temperatures.

MONROE-B.H.: It looks like some of the corn may be ready to harvest for dry grain before soybeans this year on the sandy ground.

TREMPEALEAU-L.N.: The pastures are benefiting from the recent rainfall. Several incidents of acorn poisoning have been reported. Oak trees are aborting their acorns due to the drought conditions. Cattle find these tasty but are unable to digest them as they contain tanic acid. The 4 reported deaths were 500 lb beef calves, but owner observed cows also "vacuuming up" the acorns. Cattle were removed from this pasture.

PORTAGE-J.W.: Silage harvest going well, good yields. Hay making continues with fourth cut, low yields, good quality. Cranberry harvest started, poor color, except a very early variety looked good. Manure hauling and fall tillage continues. Mosquitoes are in peak and biting hard.

DOOR/KEWAUNEE-A.B.: Corn is drying down very fast. Recent dry downs showed about 3/4 to 1 point a day loss in moisture. Many are trying to get what appears to be a very nice fourth crop in while also trying to get silage harvested. Conditions are perfect for harvest, so hopefully that continues for another couple of weeks.

FOND DU LAC/WASHINGTON-B.B.: A week of warm, calm, settled weather dried off excess soil moisture. Some corn for silage has been taken off the fields flattened by the recent storms. A few trees are on the turn.

VERNON-K.L.: A full week without rain. Farmers working hard to get third and fourth crop hay harvested. Silage corn being harvested as well. Cleanup from the prior flooding event is ongoing. More rain predicted for the upcoming week.

COLUMBIA-G.K.: Water receding along the Baraboo River. Crops under flood water are a total loss. Rest of the county is drying out. Mosquitoes are back with a vengeance throughout the county. Corn is dying and drying down fast. High moisture shell corn harvest may begin this week. Corn silage harvest is progressing rapidly.

ROCK-C.O.: Corn harvest for grain has begun due to disease pressure causing pre-maturing of the crop, and yield loss due to ear droppage and stalk lodging. Soybean harvest will begin this week in most fields.

WALWORTH-N.W.: Beautiful weather this last week helped dry some fields out. Corn silage harvest is still a muddy mess. Corn and soybeans are drying down super fast. A few issues with Tar Spot fungus in the corn.

Wisconsin Weekly Weather, Selected Cities
Ending as of 7:00 am on September 16, 2018

City Temperature Growing degree days
(modified base 50) 1/
Avg max Avg min High max Low min Avg Avg
dep from normal*
Mar 1 to Sep 15 Mar 1 to Sep 15
Last week Since
Sep 1
Sep 1
dep from normal*
To Date
dep from normal*
Eau Claire 81 56 90 42 69 8 2672 2299 0.00 1.49 -0.66 28.32 +3.04
Green Bay 79 52 86 44 66 5 2580 2161 0.00 3.07 +1.31 30.16 +8.15
La Crosse 83 59 91 49 71 6 3168 2585 0.00 0.83 -1.10 29.98 +4.58
Madison 79 53 87 46 66 4 2774 2524 0.00 2.85 +1.03 41.83 +16.33
Milwaukee 75 59 81 57 67 2 2741 n.a. 0.00 2.86 +1.01 33.67 +7.77

T = Trace. n.a. = not available.
1/Formula used: GDD = (Daily Maximum (86°) + Daily Minimum (50°)) / 2 - 50° where 86° is used if the maximum exceeds 86° and 50° is used if the minimum falls below 50°. Explanation.
*Normal based on 1971-2000 data.
Data from the NCEP/NOAA Climate Prediction Center
For more weather data, please reference the following sites: http://www.noaa.gov/ http://www.aos.wisc.edu/~sco/ http://www.cocorahs.org/ http://www.weather.gov/

This report has been made possible through the cooperative efforts of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection, and the National Weather Service.

For climate normals and growing season data for a specific Wisconsin county, first go to our Wisconsin County Home Page, then select your county, then click on the Climate Table link in the left margin for that county.

Current Crop Report with Graphics at USDA

Wisconsin Agricultural Statistical Service

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