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Planting

Planting is a slow go for Wisconsin farmers during this very wet spring of 2019.

Wet fields are still hampering Wisconsin farmers trying to get crops planted, and wet weather all across the nation's midsection is a bad sign for crop yields in 2019.

The crop progress report from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service for the week ending June 2 said field conditions remained challenging and crop development continued to lag in the dairy state.

3.4 days out of 7.0 were suitable for field work, a week that started with widespread heavy rain on Monday, Memorial Day, and more showers and storms hit areas of the state later in the week.

The wet weather is worse in some sections of America, including states in the Corn Belt, cutting across the mid-section of the country from Nebraska to Ohio, according to the weather forecasting service AccuWeather.

Delayed planting of corn and soybeans is turning into a prediction of lower yields for both crops from the USDA.

Planting is behind in 17 of 18 key corn and soybean producing states.

The USDA said corn planting in those states was at 58% through May 26, compared to a five-year average of 90%.

Soybean planting was worse, with 29% of the crop planted through May 26, compared to a five-year average of 66%.

The USDA said 4.17 billion bushels of soybeans were expected to be produced in the US in 2019, down from the record 4.54 billion bushels last year, but AccuWeather is predicting the yield to be 4.0 billion bushels, a 4% drop from the first estimate by the USDA.

Corn yields are predicted to be worse, according to AccuWeather.

The USDA was looking at 14.96 billion bushels of corn this year compared to 14.3 billion bushels last year, but AccuWeather is forecasting a 13.6 billion bushel yield, down 9% from the USDA estimate.

"Part of the reason we've increased the losses is because it's been a slow go, and the fields that haven't been planted are probably the ones that are the lower-lying fields, the ones slower to dry, and with not ideal weather, it's going to take awhile," said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Jason Nicholls.

"It may get to the point very soon where they are just going to say, 'Forget it, we're not planting,'" Nicholls said.

Wisconsin farmers were getting more frustrated with the wet weather.

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"We can't seem to get enough dry days in a row to get fields dry enough to plant," a Menominee/Shawano counties report said.

Many farmers were talking about prevent planting, which is insurance coverage to cover a percentage of the loss of crops.

"Wet, wet and more wet," a Green County report said. "Receiving lots of calls about prevent planting."

Farmers were in the double-digit days behind for field work.

Through June 2, spring tillage was 76% complete, 11 days behind last year and 14 days behind the five-year average.

Corn planting was 58% complete, 13 days behind last year and 17 days behind the five-year average. Corn emerged was at 28%, 12 days behind last year and 13 days behind average.

Soybeans were 34% planted, 13 days behind last year and 15 days behind average. Nine percent of soybeans had emerged, 13 days behind last year and the average.

Oats planted was 79 percent complete, 10 days behind last year and 15 days behind average. 56% of oats had emerged, eight days behind last year and 14 days behind average. The oat crop was 65% good to excellent.

Winter wheat was 7% headed, four days behind last year and eight days behind average. The condition was 48% good to excellent, two percentage points above last week.

Potato planting was 94% complete, seven days ahead of last year and one day behind average.

All hay was 38% good to excellent, two percentage points above last week.

Pasture was 55% good to excellent, up three percentage points from the week before.

Soil moisture was still in very good shape, with both topsoil and subsoil counts at 100% adequate to surplus.

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