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Wisconsin Crop Weather Report

Issued April 24 for Week Ending April 23, 2017

Usual Planting and Harvesting Dates

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

Vol. 17, No. 4

Wet Field Conditions Continue

There were 2.9 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending April 23, 2017, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Though there were a few clear days, mid-week rain kept many fields to wet to work. Cold overnight temperatures lead to frost in some areas. Reporters noted that winterkill in alfalfa and hay fields was becoming evident, mainly in low areas. Manure spreading and fertilizer applications were ongoing. Oats and potatoes were going in the ground where conditions permitted. A few reports of corn being planted, mainly in the southern portions of the state.

Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 63 percent adequate and 36 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 67 percent adequate and 32 percent surplus.

Wisconsin Crop Conditions
Item V-Poor Poor Fair Good Excellent
Pasture & Range 2 7 36 44 11
Winter Wheat 3 6 27 48 16
Source: USDA, NASS, Wisconsin Field Office.

As of April 23rd, spring tillage was 13 percent complete statewide, 7 days behind last year and 5 days behind the five-year average.

Corn planting has begun with 1 percent complete.

Oats planting was reported as 19 percent complete, 2 days ahead of last year, but 2 days behind the 5 year average.

Potatoes planting was reported as 17 percent complete, 6 days behind last year.

Pasture condition was rated 55 percent good to excellent, compared to 48 percent in good to excellent last week.

Winter wheat was 64 percent in good to excellent condition statewide, up 4 percentage points from last week.

Wisconsin Crop Progress
Crop and percent
of acreage
District Average State Average
Oats Planted 11 2 4 22 16 5 45 33 18 19 12 34 28
Oats Emerged 2 0 0 3 2 1 15 15 14 5 2 4 6
Potatoes Planted 5 0 1 0 21 n.a. 45 69 n.a. 17 6 27 n.a.
Spring Tillage 12 4 5 15 15 7 22 15 7 13 6 34 23
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/EAU CLAIRE-J.C.: Rains kept many farmers out of the field. Manure application and fertilizer trucks were applying on lighter soils. Alfalfa looks good in most fields with some injury in low lying fields.

SAWYER-K.S.: A rainy cool week slowed spring fieldwork.

CLARK-A.K.: The rain last week totaled about 2 inches. On Sunday I did get across one field with the sprayer. Some Amish are plowing and some hauling of manure is all the field activity.

FLORENCE/FOREST-T.B.: Some field tillage and manure spreading getting done. Conditions were still wet early week and then mid-week 1-3 inches of rain saturated the ground. Hay fields are starting to grow but we need sun and heat to get them really moving. Winter still hanging on. Had snow flurries twice this week and temperatures as low as 23 degrees.

MONROE-B.H.: Wet soil conditions have slowed most field work in many parts of the county except for the sandy soils. Manure hauling has been happening where fields are in condition to handle the loads.

TREMPEALEAU-L.N.: Lots of rainfall in parts of the county hampering field work progress

PORTAGE-J.W.: Heavy rainfall mid-week stalled most field activity. Some potato planting progressed before and after the rain, only on sandy soils. Field work on heavier soils is non-existent, water standing in fields. Getting cattle out to pasture and manure hauling where possible were other activities.

CALUMET-K.P.: More rain this week so a lot of standing water. The green is looking nice. However, the brown is showing through quite a bit more showing the poorer conditions on the wheat and alfalfa. More rain in the forecast.

MANITOWOC-M.R.: Alfalfa is really starting to green up this past week and it is very apparent there is significant winter kill on lots of it, potentially 50 percent.

VERNON-K.L.: After another wet start to the week, by Saturday and Sunday farmers were able to start some field work. Lots of manure hauled, some tillage, and a few corn planters started to roll on Sunday. Mid-week, low areas experienced light frost and some spotty reports of winter kill in the alfalfa.

DODGE-M.P.: Weekly raining limited the number of work days in the field. Producers working on hauling manure but very little tillage occurring at this time.

WALWORTH-N.W.: A couple producers have started to plant corn on lighter soils. Most fields are still too wet. Rainy forecast for the next week.

WAUKESHA-K.T.: Too wet, too cold.

Wisconsin Weekly Weather, Selected Cities
Ending as of 7:00 am on April 23, 2017

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 Apr 22 Mar 1 to Apr 22
Last week Since
Mar 1
Mar 1
dep from normal*
To Date
dep from normal*
Eau Claire 60 38 67 30 49 +3 124 81 1.22 4.62 +0.74 8.69 +2.98
Green Bay 59 40 67 34 49 +4 122 70 1.15 5.37 +1.46 8.72 +2.58
La Crosse 65 44 69 36 54 +5 207 107 1.09 5.72 +1.36 9.57 +3.02
Madison 64 41 70 33 53 +7 166 111 0.47 5.81 +1.13 10.51 +3.27
Milwaukee 64 42 73 39 53 +7 156 n.a. 1.06 7.59 +2.25 11.60 +2.75

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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