There were 4.2 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending May 19, 2019, according to the USDA’s National
Agricultural Statistics Service. This was the highest number of days suitable for Wisconsin since the beginning of the 2019 Crop Progress season. Farmers took advantage of clear weather at the beginning of this week to get crops in the ground wherever possible. Producers were avoiding low spots and heavy soils, though the ground was wet enough that rutting and stuck machinery were still reported in some areas. Heavy rains halted fieldwork yet again over the weekend. Temperatures fell into the 30s on some nights with frost reported in northern Wisconsin. Soil temperatures remained unfavorably low for crop emergence.
Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 61 percent adequate and 39 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 62 percent adequate and 38 percent surplus. As of May 19, spring tillage was 61 percent complete statewide, 2 days behind last year and 7 days behind the 5 year average.
Corn planting was 35 percent complete, 5 days behind last year and 11 days behind the average. Corn emerged was reported at 3 percent, 10 days behind last year and 11 days behind the average. Twelve percent of soybeans were planted, 7 days behind last year and 10 days behind the average. Winter wheat was 46 percent in good to excellent condition statewide, up 1 percentage point from last week.
Oats planted were reported as 61 percent complete, 1 day behind last year and 10 days behind the average. Twenty eight percent of oats had emerged, 2 days behind last year and 11 days behind the average. Potato planting is reported as 76 percent complete, 5 days ahead of last year but 4 days behind of the average.
All hay condition was reported 37 percent in good to excellent condition, up 1 percentage point from last week. Winter freeze damage to alfalfa was rated 25 percent severe, 18 percent moderate and 17 percent light. There were reportedly no damages to the remaining 40 percent of alfalfa, well below the 82 percent undamaged the previous year. Pasture condition was rated 47 percent in good to excellent condition, up 6 percentage points from last week.