Cold Weather Boosts Maple Syrup Season, Delays Planting | Business
National Agricultural Statistics Service's weekly crop report
Yet another soggy, frigid week delayed the start of fieldwork and planting statewide. Some areas of northern Wisconsin received significant snowfall, while cold rain left water standing in fields across the south.
After concerns about drought in recent years, too much moisture is the issue for northwestern Wisconsin farmers right now. Soil moisture is 22 percent surplus in the northwestern region and 39 percent surplus in the north-central region, which includes Ashland and Iron counties.
Temperatures were well below average and growing degree days lagged behind normal. Hay and winter wheat reportedly remained dormant across much of the state. A reporter from Ashland County noted that calf losses have occurred for many cow-calf beef producers calving outdoors. Maple syrup season was winding down this week. Reporters commented that it has been an excellent year, with higher than normal sap production and sugar content. There were 0.1 days suitable for fieldwork.
Across the reporting stations, average temperatures last week were 3 to 12 degrees below normal. Average high temperatures ranged from 40 to 51 degrees, while average low temperatures ranged from 26 to 35 degrees. Precipitation totals ranged from 0.79 inches in Green Bay to 2.93 inches in Milwaukee.
Statewide, spring tillage was 1 percent complete, compared to 42 percent last year and a five year average of 25 percent. This represents the latest start to spring tillage in the past 30 years of Crop Progress data. The previous record low was 2 percent on April 21, 1983. Manure spreading was slowed by muddy field conditions.
Alfalfa has reportedly not shown much growth over last week. Freeze and flooding damage remained unclear due to hay stands’ extended dormancy.
Ponding in low areas was reportedly impacting winter wheat where rains have been heaviest. Reporters commented that rye was greening up more quickly than other crops.