Corn high but quality low in state fieldsWisconsin Weather
-- The corn fields look tall in Wisconsin, but the quality remains low as the drought continues.
The corn fields look tall in Wisconsin, but the quality remains low as the drought continues.
Officials say the average corn stalks are almost seven-feet tall – but 43-percent of the crop is in poor-to-very poor condition, same as a week ago. Just over a quarter of the corn is fair, leaving about 30-percent in good-to-excellent shape.
Soybeans are doing better. Officials say the beans really perked-up in areas that got rain last week. As a result, 67-percent of Wisconsin’s soybeans are in fair condition or better. Spider mites are a problem in Dane, Dodge, and Vernon counties. The oat harvest is almost half finished, about 40-percent ahead of normal. Winter wheat is really a bright spot, with yields of between 55 bushels to over 100 per acre.
Spotty showers did provide a little help last week. Green Bay got almost three-and-a-third inches of rain, and La Crosse had a quarter inch. But drought-parched southern Wisconsin got nothing. And four of the state’s nine reporting districts say at least 95-percent of their fields are short or very short of moisture.
Over 11,000 acres of state-owned land will be opened to farmers who need hay and space to graze cattle, in the midst of Wisconsin’s summer-long drought. Governor Scott Walker made the announcement this afternoon. He said farmers would have to sign agreements assuring that all hay taken from state property will be used to feed livestock – and it would not be sold. Farmers will only be able to make one cutting of hay – and special harvest will end August 10th for prairie grasses, and August 30th for cool season grasses. More information is available at the state DNR’s Web site, accessible at Wisconsin.gov. Also, more drought information is available at a special state Web site. That address is Ready.wi.gov. Late yesterday, federal officials said 43-percent of Wisconsin’s corn crop was in poor-to-very poor condition, same as a week ago. And only 26-percent was listed as fair.
Folks in the southernmost part of Wisconsin woke up to storms and strong winds this morning. Winds hit 60-miles-an-hour at Monroe about 4:45 this morning. The National Weather Service said trees and power lines fell at Mineral Point in Iowa County. And multiple trees went down in western Rock County in the Evansville area. The storms followed another day of record heat. It was 100-degrees in Oshkosh, breaking the city’s old mark of 97 set in 1940. Milwaukee tied a record-high for yesterday with 99. The heat index got up to 111 at New Glarus, and 110 at Milton. Far Northern Wisconsin felt a cold front go through – and places where it was 90 yesterday were in the mid-50’s overnight. More rain is expected today in southern and western Wisconsin, with highs in the 80’s statewide. Parts of the south could get back to 100 tomorrow – and strong storms are predicted statewide as a cold front goes through.