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Wisconsin Crop Weather Report

Issued October 15 for Week Ending October 14, 2018

Usual Planting and Harvesting Dates

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

Vol. 18, No. 29

More Rain, Widespread Frost

There were 1.5 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending October 14, 2018, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Temperatures again started off the week normal to above normal, with widespread rain driving already high soil moistures even higher. Strong winds accompanied a cold front which pushed into the state midweek, bringing temperatures well below normal and causing widespread frost. After a brief break in the rains, more rain and some light snow fell over the weekend. Reporters across the state noted that fields were still too wet to access, keeping fieldwork to a minimum. Farmers were frustrated with the weather and with ongoing high grain moistures. Some reporters noted drops in crop condition due to grain sprouting, mold or disease.

Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 58 percent adequate and 42 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 62 percent adequate and 37 percent surplus.

Wisconsin Crop Conditions
Item V-Poor Poor Fair Good Excellent
Corn 4 9 18 42 27
Pasture & Range 4 8 29 42 17
Soybeans 5 9 16 45 25
Source: USDA, NASS, Wisconsin Field Office.

Ninety-three percent of corn was mature, 19 days ahead of last year and 15 days ahead of the 5-year average. Corn harvested for grain was 19 percent complete, 11 days ahead of last year and 3 days ahead of the average. The moisture content of corn harvested for grain was reported at 24 percent. Corn for silage was 92 percent harvested, 10 days ahead of average. Corn condition was 69 percent good to excellent.

Soybeans dropping leaves was reported at 95 percent complete, 6 days ahead of last year and 4 days ahead of the average. Soybean harvest was 21 percent complete, 11 days behind last year and 8 days behind the average. Soybean condition was 70 percent good to excellent.

Potato harvest was reported as 84 percent complete, 8 days behind last year.

Sixty-three percent of winter wheat was planted, 6 days behind last year. Forty-five percent of the winter wheat crop has emerged, 2 days behind last year.

The fourth cutting of alfalfa was 90 percent complete, 18 days behind last year and 1 day behind the average

Pasture condition was rated 59 percent in good to excellent condition, compared with 61 percent in good to excellent condition last week.

Fall tillage was reported at 16 percent complete, 4 days behind last year and 7 days behind the average.

Wisconsin Crop Progress
Crop and percent
of acreage
District Average State Average
Alfalfa Hay, Fourth Cutting 96 78 90 89 88 91 92 94 82 90 87 100 91
Corn Mature 88 94 92 92 87 88 94 99 94 93 84 68 77
Corn Harvested for Grain 17 29 17 15 13 12 14 28 23 19 14 8 16
Corn Harvested for Silage 94 92 93 95 89 88 92 96 95 92 87 79 83
Fall Tillage 19 15 15 11 19 22 20 9 12 16 14 19 22
Potatoes Harvested 84 67 89 82 84 n.a. 77 75 n.a. 84 73 92 n.a.
Soybeans Dropping Leaves 93 96 89 97 94 91 96 97 95 95 89 91 91
Soybeans Harvested 26 27 14 20 17 13 11 27 39 21 17 42 42
Winter Wheat Planted 81 76 82 64 72 70 63 45 44 63 54 75 n.a.
Winter Wheat Emerged 62 68 59 52 54 53 39 30 27 45 33 51 n.a.
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.: Frequent rains all week resulted in little fieldwork. All the moisture has some kernels on corn ears beginning to sprout. A hard frost over the weekend definitely put an end to the growing season. Concerns are growing that manure applications won't happen this fall if crops can't be harvested soon and soil conditions freeze up around Thanksgiving.

RUSK-G.P.: Widespread heavy rains limited field activity this week. Some corn came off at the end of the week, but mostly still too wet to get into the fields. Crop conditions are deteriorating with soybeans suffering the most. We really need some warmer temps, sunshine and some wind (just not too much!). Hay and pasture are in decline with colder temps.

ASHLAND/IRON-C.B.: Rain again most of the week throughout the area. Temperatures at least 10 degrees below normal. A couple of reports of soybeans harvested. Still too wet for any fall tillage work.

SHAWANO-B.R.: Over five inches of rain early in the week and light rain with some snow late in the week means almost no field work done this past week. It is very wet with water ponds in many fields. A lot of wheat was supposed to go in yet that will probably not get done anymore. Had some very strong winds last week that raised heck with some varieties of corn.

LA CROSSE-I.H.: Still extremely wet. Having difficulty getting into the fields.

MONROE-B.H.: Farmers are harvesting where they can, but many fields are too wet. Corn grain moisture is ranging from the low 20s to the low-mid 30s where they have been able to combine.

MARQUETTE/WAUSHARA-D.B.: Combines sitting for the most part. A few high fields can be harvested but another 3.5 inches of rain last week kept things slow.

CALUMET-K.P.: The week started with warmer weather and continued rain. Then came the cooler temperatures and winds, allowing the fields to dry enough to get a little field work done, only to be followed with a little more rain. The forecast is mostly dry. Producers are still hoping to get wheat planted.

DOOR/KEWAUNEE-A.B.: Wet. Nothing happening in the fields right now except a few people battling the mud to get silage off before it's too far gone. A few people are switching back over to harvesting 4th crop that got put off to get corn silage off when it was still dry enough to get in the fields. Manure lagoons are getting full, too. There's a lot of waiting and not much happening in the fields.

VERNON-K.L.: Another week of receiving 3-4 inches of rain in the county. First snowflakes of the year on October 11. Weather delaying the final harvesting of corn silage. Some cattle taken off of pasture this week.

DANE-F.P.: Corn moisture ranges from 15.0 to 18.0 percent. It froze Friday night to Saturday. Liquid manure is being applied on a lot of fields.

DODGE-R.H.: Received another 2.5 inches of rain this week.

FOND DU LAC/WASHINGTON-B.B.: No field work this period owing to more rain on top of rain. Two hard frosts have closed out the growing season that accumulated 2,790 Degree Days beginning March 1 and closing October 14 (using base 50/85). Corn and bean dry down has been at a standstill. Producers I've spoken with do not yet report mold issues and are measuring 22-24 percent moisture in corn and 17-19 percent in beans.

Wisconsin Weekly Weather, Selected Cities
Ending as of 7:00 am on October 14, 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 Oct 13 Mar 1 to Oct 13
Last week Since
Sep 1
Sep 1
dep from normal*
To Date
dep from normal*
Eau Claire 51 38 57 27 44 -7 2862 2509 2.15 8.46 +3.71 35.29 +7.29
Green Bay 59 42 77 28 51 +0 2823 2371 2.99 9.18 +5.16 36.27 +12.09
La Crosse 57 43 74 30 50 -4 3407 2838 1.31 8.20 +3.84 37.34 +9.48
Madison 60 44 81 27 52 -1 3044 2793 1.76 12.79 +8.82 51.77 +24.09
Milwaukee 64 49 84 32 57 +2 3085 n.a. 0.65 11.90 +7.58 42.71 +14.24

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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