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Say good-bye to snow

Growing leaves and grass show spring is coming to a farm in Jackson County, Wisconsin.

The continuous wet and cool weather in Wisconsin is making life difficult for farmers trying to get a move on the spring field work.

The crop progress report from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service for the week ending May 12 said only 3.0 days out of 7.0 were suitable for field work.

"Some planting, tillage and manure spreading was accomplished between rain events, though wet soils meant many fields were still inaccessible," the crop report said.

Some corn was planted on higher and lighter ground, and soybeans were being planted in a few areas, but even for the crops in the ground, cold soil was suppressing germination of seeded fields.

"Farmers are worried," a Marathon County report said. "Markets are down and growing conditions are difficult."

Winter kill of alfalfa, winter wheat  and winter rye was noted in many areas, prompting farmers to plant more alfalfa and spring forages than initially planned to make up for what is expected to be a smaller and later first cutting of hay.

"There is almost complete winter kill for alfalfa," a Barron County report said. "I have never seen it this bad, ever."

Next week's report will include a look at the winter kill estimates for alfalfa.

Spring tillage was 41% complete as of May 12, 2 days behind last year and 8 days behind the 5-year average.

Corn planting was 14% complete, 7 days behind last year and 11 days behind average. Only 1% of corn has emerged.

Four percent of soybeans were planted, 9 days behind average.

Potatoes were 59% planted, 6 days ahead of last year but 4 days behind average.

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Oats were 41% planted, the same as last year at this time but 11 days behind average. 19% of oats had emerged, 2 days ahead of last year but 8 days behind average.

Winter wheat was 45% good to excellent, unchanged from a week ago.

All hay was 36% good to excellent and pasture was 41% good to excellent.

Soil moisture continued to be no problem except there was too much of it in many low-lying areas.

Both topsoil and subsoil moisture numbers were at 100% adequate to surplus.

"The water table on many fields is still too high to be able to do tillage and planting," a report from Iowa/Richland/Sauk Counties said. "We may end up not planting 10% to 15% of our acres due to the high water table."

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