Spring planting in Wisconsin ahead of schedule


Madison, Wisconsin (AP)-- Wisconsin farmers say that spring planting is ahead of schedule this year.

Some essential crops, including soybeans and corn, have already been planted because drier weather has allowed farmers to get out into their fields earlier than previous years.

A weekly crop report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture says that planting for Wisconsin’s staple crops is well ahead of the five-year average.

“If it’s going to be dry at any point during the growing season, this is a good time of year for it to be dry,” said Mike Ballweg, Sheboygan County crops and soils agriculture agent at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension.

Wisconsin Farmers Union spokeswoman Danielle Endvick says that farmers usually aim to finish planting by Memorial Day, but this year, many will have their crops in the ground by Mother’s Day, the Journal Sentinel reported.

“We’re hoping that Mother Nature cooperates, and if she does, it could be a record-setting year for yields,” Endvick said.

Endvick said that farmers are watching the price of fertilizer escalate, as the industry becomes increasingly consolidated and monopolized by a few corporations.

“There’s a lot of talk in Congress right now about addressing antitrust in health care and technology,” Endvick said. “We’re hopeful agriculture will be a part of that conversation.”

Story via AP