Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending October 12
Clear, dry days with below average temperatures allowed fieldwork to advance rapidly this week. Frosts and freezes were widespread, with overnight lows falling into the 20s in the north and reaching the low 30s across the rest of the state. Several reporters commented that late planted corn was still immature when a killing frost hit their area.
Though topsoil moistures fell on average, field conditions were reportedly still muddy in northern parts of the state, hampering fieldwork there.
Soybeans harvest, fall tillage, winter wheat planting, and manure spreading were all in full swing. Corn was being chopped for silage and combined for high moisture feed. Some corn was being harvested for grain in the south but reporters noted that corn is weeks away from a dry grain harvest across the north and central portions of the state.
Fourth crop hay cutting slowed this week as silage and soybeans took priority. Cranberries, apples, pumpkins, and other fall fruit and vegetable crops were being harvested as well, keeping farm stands busy statewide.
There were 6.0 days suitable for fieldwork.
Across the reporting stations, average temperatures were 4 to 9 degrees below normal. Average high temperatures ranged from 56 to 60 degrees, while average low temperatures ranged from 29 to 41 degrees. The five major reporting stations received no measurable precipitation this week.
As of October 12, ninety-four percent of corn was in or beyond the dent stage and 66 percent was mature. Corn for grain was 7 percent harvested. Corn for silage was 67 percent harvested, up 20 percentage points from the previous week. Corn condition was rated 73 percent good to excellent.
Ninety percent of soybeans had leaves dropping. Soybeans harvested reached 30 percent, up 23 percentage points from the previous week. Soybeans condition was rated 72 percent good to excellent.
Winter wheat was 60 percent planted and 28 percent emerged. Potatoes were 95 percent harvested. The fourth cutting of alfalfa was 86 percent complete. Pasture condition was rated 61 percent good to excellent. Fall tillage was 20 percent complete.
Selected quotes from farm reporters and county agents:
CHIPPEWA-T.P.: Corn silage is progressing. A lot of soybeans could be harvested this coming week if the rain stays away.
RUSK-G.P.: Corn silage harvest continues – good yields and quality. High moisture is just starting, still pretty wet. Soybeans are coming off, some good, some not so good. Wrapping up hay harvest for the year. Total inventory is good, but there was a lot of poor first crop and a lot got rained on at least once. Peak fall color is past, but now getting a nice flush of yellow from the poplars.
CLARK-R.H.: A hard freeze overnight has probably ended the growing season. Corn silage is full go this week as plant moisture is declining. Soybean harvest is beginning with early planted soybeans going into the bin. Hay may be on hold with corn silage harvest, but there is some to be harvested. Fall pumpkin patches and apple orchards are busy. With harvest, emptying of manure pits is also in full swing with fall tillage following the application of nutrients.
ONEIDA-B.E.: No measurable precipitation this past week. Average highs and lows a bit below normal.
LANGLADE-A.K.: Growing season done with frost last week. Corn and beans drying down nicely with sun and light winds. Bean yields are fair at best, corn looks fair to good.
BUFFALO-R.S.: Light rain stopped soybean harvest which is 50% done this week. No dry corn harvested yet. Some haylage made, some bean stalks baled, a little tillage and rye seeded. A good week for maturing crops.
EAU CLAIRE-D.S.: Beans still have green stems, causes “staining” on the food grade beans.
WAUPACA-D.L.H.: Killing frost occurred October 10, ending a growing season of 148 days. Corn silage, planting winter wheat, fourth crop hay have been going full tilt with the week of favorable weather. Soybeans now shedding leaves, mature corn showing dry husks. Fall harvest is still a couple weeks off as crops need to drydown.