The recent hot weather and lack of precipitation is leading to a decrease in plant quality in fields around the state. The most recent crop progress and condition report was released Monday afternoon, and displayed those effects.
Corn around Wisconsin is now 96% emerged, but condition reports rate the crop at only 71% good to excellent condition. That is five percentage points below last week. Soybeans are feeling the heat as well, with 92% now emerged. Condition reports on soybeans say that good to excellent condition makes up only 65% of the crop, which is seven percentage points less than last week. Even the oat crop is seeing declines in quality. 96% of oats are emerged currently and 41% of the plants are now headed, which is 10 days ahead of the normal average. However, at 74% good to excellent crop, that is six percentage points worse than last week.
Hay and pasture for our livestock is following the pattern as well. When it comes to pasture condition, we see sharp declines ten percentage points lower than last week at only 58% good to excellent. Hay condition is 63% good to excellent, seven percentage points below where it stood last week. On a positive note, first cutting alfalfa hay is reported as 87% complete. That is six days ahead of last year and eight years ahead of the average.
Current data is showing elevated average temperatures and much lower precipitation amounts all around the state. Temperatures are anywhere from 12-15 degrees higher than the normal average for this time of year. Precipitation levels are reduced from 1.08 inches short up to 1.65 inches short of the normal average, depending on the area. Hopefully Wisconsin farmers can catch a break from the continued heat, and see a bit of much needed rain in the near future.