Spring planting off to a slow start

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- To say it has been a bad Spring for farmers is an understatement. Cool temperatures and persistent wet weather has presented some real challenges across the state of Wisconsin. While we have had some warmer and drier weather over the last week, we need a lot more. There were 3.0 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending May 12, 2019, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Some planting, tillage and manure spreading was accomplished between rain events, though wet soils meant many fields were still inaccessible. Some corn was planted on higher and lighter ground, and there were a few reports of soybeans being planting. Cold soil temperatures continued to suppress germination of seeded fields.

Across the state of Wisconsin, corn planting is up to 14 percent complete. This is double what it was last week at 7 percent but still well below the 46 percent running average. Of that corn planted, only 1 percent has emerged.

Soybeans are in a similar situation across Wisconsin. Just 4 percent of soybeans are in the ground, up from 1 percent last week. Average to date is 17 percent.

It's not just Wisconsin that is feeling the impacts of this wet and cool Spring. Of the 18 top corn producing states, producing 92 percent of the corn acreage in 2018, all were reporting Spring planting running well behind schedule. Many of the Great Lakes and Midwest states are reporting planting being behind more than 50 percent with states like South Dakota and Ohio being more than 90 percent behind average. Wisconsin corn planting sits at 70 percent behind average to date.

While temperatures are expected to warm up across the country in the days and weeks ahead, the wet pattern looks to remain. The longer it takes farmers to complete planting, the more potential problems they could face. That is not taking into consideration additional flooding may have on already planted fields.

You can keep up to date on the weather the entire Spring season right from your smartphone. The NBC15 Weather Authority App is available now on all mobile devices in the Google Play Store for Android users or the App Store for iOS users.