Measuring the health of your alfalfa

Ag Report

(WFRV) – Measuring the health of your alfalfa stand requires very little investment. UW Extension’s Kevin Jarek explains what to look for in the field.

When it comes to crop progress around the state: Wisconsin had 4.1 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending May 24, 2020, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Spring planting raced toward completion this week as warm, sunny days and adequate soil moistures spurred crop growth. Temperatures were average to above average, with daytime highs climbing into the 70s and no frost reported. Tillage, small grains, corn, soybeans and potato planting continued to trend ahead of average. Fieldwork in eastern Wisconsin did not progress as quickly as the rest of the state, however, as fields there were still drying out after recent heavy rains. Hay stands bulked up with warmer conditions though reporters noted that winterkill varied widely from field to field. Farmers who had finished planting were gearing up for the first cutting of hay.

Topsoil moisture condition was rated 1% very short, 6% short, 74% adequate and 19% surplus. Subsoil moisture condition was rated 1% very short, 4% short, 73% adequate and 22% surplus.

Spring tillage was 96% complete, 26 days ahead of last year and 2 weeks ahead of the 5-year average.

Corn planting was 90% complete, 26 days ahead of last year and a 12 days ahead of the average. Corn emerged was 45%, 15 days ahead of last year and 2 days ahead of the average. Corn was rated 79% good to excellent statewide.

Soybean planting was 79% complete, 24 days ahead of last year and 13 days ahead of the average. Soybeans emerged was 25%, 16 days ahead of last year and 2 days ahead of the average.

Oats planted were reported as 93% complete, 20 days ahead of last year and a week ahead of the average. Oats emerged was 75%, 20 days ahead of last year and 4 days ahead of the average. Oat condition was rated 79% good to excellent statewide, unchanged from last week.

Potato planting was 88% complete, 2 days ahead of last year but 2 days behind the average.

Winter wheat was 1% headed, 2 days ahead of last year but 3 days behind the average. Winter wheat was rated 73% in good to excellent condition statewide, up 4 percentage points from last week.

All hay condition was reported 56% in good to excellent condition statewide, up 1 percentage point from last week.

Pasture condition was rated 73% in good to excellent condition, improving 10 percentage points above last week.

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