Not much to report on field activity so far across the state of Wisconsin. In it’s first weekly crop progress report, the Wisconsin Ag Statistical Service said rainy weather kept most growers inside.
Fields were highly saturated this week, with a mix of frost conditions reported. Some reporters noted that overwintered crops were beginning to green up and soils were frost-free, while others reported surface frost or frost several inches deep. Record-breaking high temperatures in February left much of the state free of snowcover. Minimal snowcover continued through March with rainy, above-freezing days leaving fields exposed to occasional cold snaps. Reporters were concerned about damage to winter wheat and hay stands though it was too early to fully assess winterkill. Manure and fertilizer applications were ongoing as conditions allowed but cold, muddy soils prevented other fieldwork in most of the state. Sunny, warm days are needed to improve field conditions for planting.
Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 68 percent adequate and 31 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 70 percent adequate and 29 percent surplus.
As of April 2nd, spring tillage was 1 percent complete statewide, equal to last year, and to the five-year average.
Oats planting were reported as 2 percent complete.
Winter wheat was 54 percent in good to excellent condition statewide.
Maple tapping had an early and erratic start thanks to very warm temperatures in February. March’s more seasonal weather allowed for good sap production in some areas, particularly in the northern portions of the state. Some reporters noted that sap was still running, while others saw the season end weeks ago. Production and quality were highly variable.