Behind Schedule: Fall harvest continues to be impacted by poor weather

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Wisconsin had 3.0 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending December 1, 2019, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Farmers got a short window of favorable conditions at the beginning of this week, allowing corn and soybeans harvesting to advance. High grain moistures continued to impede grain storage and driers were going full blast as crops came in.

Back to back winter storms then slowed or halted fieldwork for the rest of the week. Wednesday’s storm delivered rain, freezing rain and high winds, while a multi-day weekend storm brought a mix of rain, sleet, and wet now. Northern and central Wisconsin ended the week with snow on the ground; reporters noted over a foot of snow accumulation in some areas. The southern districts saw little to no snow accumulation, leaving the ground a slippery, partially frozen mess.

Reporters commented that some unharvested crops would be left in the fields, particularly in areas with deep snow cover. Harvest of corn for grain was 66 percent complete, 22 days behind last year and 21 days behind the 5-year average. The moisture content of corn harvested for grain was reported at 23 percent. Soybean harvest was 86 percent complete, 19 days behind last year.

This week should offer some much needed relief, especially for southern Wisconsin where the ground remains snow-free. Calm and dry conditions should linger into the upcoming weekend. As of Tuesday, Madison was in 7th place for the wettest year on record with 44.90 inches of liquid precipitation.

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