Planting ahead of schedule in Wisconsin


MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin farmers are ahead of schedule on spring planting this season thanks to favorable weather.

The latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows corn planting in the state is 59 percent complete. Wisconsin Public Radio News reports that’s a week ahead of the five-year average and 24 days ahead of planting in 2019.

A long stretch of wet weather last spring caused record-late planting in Wisconsin and across the Midwest.

Nick Baker, agricultural agent for University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Division of Extension in Rock County, said that may have led farmers to start planting earlier this spring.

“I think people this year, as soon as the ground conditions allowed it, started planting. And we’re in really good shape,” Baker said.

The state’s soybean crop is 35 percent complete, nine days ahead of the average and also 24 days ahead of last year.

Favorable planting conditions may help farmers set new records for crop yields this year.

“Getting that crop into the ground and germinating and growing as quickly into the season as we can is one of the characteristics of a high-yielding year,” University of Wisconsin agronomist Joe Lauer said. “We’re kind of set up for that this year. But we have a lot of season to go yet and a lot of things can happen.”

A plentiful crop would be good news for producers as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to weigh down commodity prices.