The first day of the La Crosse Farm Show opened yesterday with many attendees discussing the ongoing corn harvest. Plenty of those discussions started with the question of how much corn still is standing throughout the region and ending with the question remaining unanswered.
University of Wisconsin-Extension Chippewa County agriculture agent Jerry Clark this morning took a shot at answering. He said in his western Wisconsin travels that an estimated 20 percent to 25 percent of the region’s corn remains in the fields.
During the farm show, farmers exchanged ideas and stories about what’s being done to finish harvesting the crop. Snow covering fields makes it difficult for the combine to gather ears, and that snow also keeps the wet soil from freezing adequately to carry combines.
One farmer at the show described how a neighboring farmer only could combine while his equipment was going downhill — the soil under the snow too slick for the combine to work while going uphill.
The harvest-percentage question also has been asked in other parts of the Upper Midwest:
— Estimates for some areas of Upper Midwest states, including Wisconsin, still have up to 40 percent of corn standing in fields. A DTN survey of elevators around the Upper Midwest indicated that much corn standing in some areas. In the last weekly crop progress report for 2019, the USDA reported that as of Dec. 8, 92 percent of the U.S. corn crop had been harvested. That report had Wisconsin and Michigan at 74 percent harvested, North Dakota 43 percent harvested and South Dakota at 83 percent harvested. On Jan. 2, North and South Dakota updated their corn harvest as of Dec. 31, with North Dakota reporting the harvest 48 percent complete and South Dakota reporting 90 percent of its corn harvested.
— A Fond du Lac County woman has been named Wisconsin’s 54th Fairest of the Fair. Cayley Vande Berg from Fond du Lac County received the honor last night in Wisconsin Dells after competing for the position with 35 other contestants. As Fairest of the Fairs, she becomes the spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Association of Fairs, traveling this summer to Wisconsin county, district and state. Jessica Moor of St. Croix County was third-runner-up for the honor. Mikaila Falash of the Adams County Fair was named runner-up, with Lauren Flynn from Rock County named second runner-up.
— Several northwest Wisconsin schools are among 14 state schools receiving Sand County Foundation grants. Area schools receiving the grants include Luck High School, Turtle Lake High School, Glenwood City High School, Thorp School District, Auburndale High School, and Westby Area High School. The grants are designed to help the establishment of habitat for imperiled insect pollinators and monarch butterflies. Recipients will receive native wildflower seedlings, a training webinar and consultation, and first-time grantees will receive a $1,000 grand for
the school district or FFA chapter to offset pollinator-project expenses.
An area farm couple will be heading to Connecticut to be considered for the National Outstanding Young Farmer Award. Adam and Chrissy Seibel of Bloomer will represent Wisconsin Feb. 7-9 at the National Outstanding Young Farmer Awards Conference. The couple have operated the Seibl family’s certified organic farm since 2002, and received the 2019 Wisconsin Outstanding Young Farmer Award.