From the Field Updates
The sun is shining and machines are moving over here in Evansville, Wisconsin. After a few days of dry weather, Monday we finally received the crucial drying conditions we needed to get the water out of the ground. It’s still a waiting game but we are finding dry ground for spraying, spreading and planting. According to the USDA as of May 5th Wisconsin is at 7% corn acres planted compared to 24% 5-year average and at 13% at this time last year. Wisconsin Soybean planting is at 1% as of May 5th compared to the 6% 5-year average and with 4% at that time in 2018. Most growers are focusing on getting the corn into the ground this week and that margin should narrow. Be safe out in the fields this week and best of luck with everything runs smooth.
After all of the rain last week some fields finally dried out by Friday night or Saturday morning. There are still plenty of wet fields and wet spots in fields to be on the look out for. With a favorable forecast this week and with what could be the best weather we have seen all “spring”, things are starting to go full steam ahead. Planters, sprayers and spreaders will all be rolling at the same time. It will be a busy week ahead, where a lot of ground will get covered. Stay safe out there this week!
Agronomists recommend working soil that is in perfect conditions so as not to compact the soil structure. And we recommend planting in conditions dry enough to create a soft mellow seed bed for good “seed:soil” contact…. But this year is remaining wet throughout April and May and the pressure is on growers to get seed in the ground, even in less than ideal soil conditions. This is necessary, but may haunt us later in the season.
Tuesday, 5-14-19, soil temperatures at 4 inch depth, at 7:00am were still about 39F degrees, so still cold. But, on the calendar, growers need to plant as soon as possible betting on warmer days to come. If weather continues warmer, with overnight temps around 50F degrees, we will see steady progress in the fields.
We had cool, rainy conditions through last week, and the sun came out Friday. A lot of progress has been made in the last several days in Dane and Columbia counties. Many fields have wet spots, and some are too wet to plant still. By Friday, 5/12/19, about 10% of the corn was planted, 5% soybeans planted. Checking fields planted on 4/20/19, today the beans are emerging through the soil surface. Hay fields report about 30% in good condition, with the others in poor condition from winterkill.
We have been successful in keeping up and ahead of growers with our fertilizer applications, and pre emerge spray for corn fields. Growers are challenged with planting sporadically across the farm because of wet spots and poor soil conditions.
Winter wheat fields are reporting about ½ in good condition. Many wheat fields were tilled under to plant corn instead, due to winter kill and poor stands. Most wheat fields in our area are reduced in stand count, but some growers will need straw and will keep the wheat crop for 2019. Wheat fields should be treated with fungicide in tank mix with herbicide to encourage healthy growth of plants during this cool season.
Generally, because Grower Degree Days are behind normal and behind 2018, insect pressure is also behind since the insects are slow to develop. But consider using fungicides on all crops this year, especially after 2018 disease pressure.