Wisconsin crops need rain after a good start

Now that planting is nearly wrapped up statewide, farmers are concerned about moisture as they start spraying weeds and side-dressing fertilizers.

Mike Berget farms 85 hundred acres of corn and 3-thousand acres of soybeans in the driftless region near Darlington in southwestern Wisconsin. He tells Brownfield, “We’ve had some farms that haven’t had much of any moisture since they were planted.”

Berget says he was fortunate to wrap up planting two weeks ago, but now he’s concerned about pests in dry soil conditions. “We killed off quite a bit of cover crop, you know, and we had that grass die so I was worried about armyworms. So far, knock on wood, we haven’t had any outbreaks yet but if this weather stays dry, I’m afraid that will be the pest to be watching for.”

Shane Goplin is also done planting in the rolling hills of western Wisconsin near Osseo. “We noticed a lot more springs popping up in the area with the above-normal precipitation we got over the winter and there still, I was spraying in a field last night and there’s still water standing in some of them but the rest of the fields? It’s like a broken record. You talk to anybody, we’re dry.”

Goplin went right from planting to hay and he’s spraying today. “Everything is planted. The first crop (hay) is done. Soybeans, the first pass crop protection is applied. Working now, I’ve got it down to less than a half a percent of corn left to spray yet, and yeah, working on putting fertilizer down after 1st crop.”

Goplin says he plans to start side-dressing corn late this week or early next week.

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