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Fields drying, farmers hustle to get crops in

October 24, 2018 GMT

Drier weather last week allowed Wisconsin farmers to get back into fields to continue with fall harvest work before cold weather sets in.

The crop progress report for the week ending Oct. 21 showed 4.5 days out of 7 suitable for field work, the most in recent weeks.

The report is a product of the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.

“Soils were still highly saturated across much of Wisconsin, though conditions improved enough for field work to proceed,” the report said.

Both topsoil and subsoil moisture levels were at 100 percent adequate to surplus.

While fields were drying out, some farmers were working around standing water in low spots.

“Fall harvest is picking up again,” an Outagamie County/Waupaca County report said. “Farmers are anxious to get corn and soybeans out of the fields as soon as possible, on soils dry enough to allow work.”

The corn crop was rated 70 percent good to excellent, with 96 percent of the corn mature. Corn harvested for grain was 31 percent complete, with moisture content at 21 percent. Corn for silage was 96 percent harvested.

The soybean harvest was 36 percent complete, with the crop rated 71 percent good to excellent.

“Finally, nice harvesting weather,” a St. Croix County report said. “Lots of soybeans were combined and some hay was cut in various places.”

Potatoes were 91 percent harvested, the fourth cutting of alfalfa was 93 percent complete and pasture was rated 60 percent good to excellent.

Seventy-five percent of winter wheat was planted, with 55 percent emerged. Winter wheat’s condition was 85 percent good to excellent.

Fall tillage was 20 percent complete.

“Finally, some sunshine and blue skies,” a Sauk County report said. “Some harvesting was actually accomplished.”