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Manure dragline in corn stubble

Farmers in northern Wisconsin are hoping for warmer weather, as below freezing temperatures stymied drying of corn and soybean crops in the field.

The crop progress report for the week ending Nov. 12 said temperatures were well below normal, with overnight lows in the low teens and single digits throughout the state, and some readings getting down to one or two below zero.

The weekly report is produced by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, getting the local conditions from farmers all across the state.

"Below freezing temperatures and even a night below zero last week prevented crops from drying much," a Burnett/Washburn Counties report said.

The frigid temperatures benefited farmers who were having a hard time getting onto soft ground, but frozen ground also is a drawback for tilling and manure spreading.

The corn crop harvested for grain was 56 percent complete, 11 days behind average, with the average moisture content at 21 percent. The crop condition was rated 71 percent good to excellent.

Soybeans were 92 percent harvested, seven days behind a year ago.

Emerged winter wheat was 92 percent complete, with the crop rated 85 percent good to excellent.

Fall tillage was 51 percent complete, seven days behind average.

In Kewaunee County, a grower said lows in the teens and a stiff wind produced frost down three to four inches into the soil, making it harder for plows to get through.

The harvest was going strong in southern Wisconsin.

"Bins and dryers are starting to fill up, slowing down the harvest progress," a Dodge County report said. "Yields are looking good and field conditions are excellent for tillage and making round bales."


Bill Novak is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.