Farmers catch up on corn planting
Almost two-thirds of Wisconsin's corn crop has been planted. Officials say over 20% of the crop was put into the ground last week. But corn planting is still 21-percent below the average for the past five years.
Wisconsin is the only Midwest state with less than 80% of its corn planted. There are reports that growers are thinking about switching some of their normal corn acreage to soybeans, due to the planting delays caused by the extended winter. A series of rainstorms further delayed field work last week, and after the drought of 2012, soil moisture has gone the other way.
Madison has received almost seven more inches of precipitation this year than normal. Eau Claire is six inches above normal. Twelve-percent of Wisconsin farm fields have surplus moisture.
The rains have helped fill in some of the bare spots in the hay fields. That provides at least a little help for farmers short of forage. Twenty-nine percent of Wisconsin's soybean crop has been planted, down from the norm of 60%. The state's oat crop needs warmer temperatures, as only 55-percent of the crop is out of the ground with 86%.