Wisconsin farmers, researchers optimistic about crops

The good weather and early planting of 2020 has farmers and researchers optimistic about this year’s crops. 

One of them is dairy farmer Lee Kinnard in northeastern Wisconsin, whose corn silage will be harvested in less than two weeks. “We’re looking at kind of a bumper crop coming our way, coming out early. It’s going to be nice to get cover crops out and some of our conservation tillage practices really, really rolling again. We’re hoping for a nice fall, and it’s coming a little quicker than we thought.”

University of Wisconsin corn specialist Joe Lauer says so far, everything looks good for grain, as well. “The kernels are there, but we still have to fill those kernels, and I’m cautiously optimistic. I think, you know, that a lot of things can happen yet.”

As far as corn diseases, Lauer says he’s seen few problems so far. “We’re seeing a lot of rust spores coming in, but that’s again very typical for corn. I haven’t really seen a lot of damage. There’s some bacterial leaf stripe down in the southwestern part of the state, but again, it’s very hybrid-specific.”

And when asked if farmers will be able to avoid some of the feed shortages experienced over the last year, Kinnard says, “We never count our chickens before they’re hatched, but it shouldn’t be. I think dairy farmers are going to be in good shape. I think those guys growing grains, they’re are going to have some nice yields, so no, it should be a good crop year.”

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