These conditions also reportedly interfered with pollination and pod fill. There were wide variations in soybean condition as soil moistures bottomed out on September 8, with 27 percent of the crop in poor to very poor condition and 42 percent in good to excellent condition. Reports of drought damaged soybeans being chopped for forage came in through
September as leaves turning and dropping leaves indications continued to trail the average. However, warm temperatures and rains in that month helped the crop to mature. The harvest got underway with 3 percent harvested on September 29, compared to 38 percent the previous year and 12 percent average. Yields were reportedly average to below average, and some reporters noted that combining was difficult because plants were low to the ground.
The harvest reached 97 percent complete on November 24.
Oat planting saw a record late start due to this spring’s wet conditions. Oats were only 5 percent planted on April 28, 46 points below the five year average.
This broke the previous record low of 7 percent planted on April 28, 2011. Planting and emergence remained well below normal throughout May and June, with planting hitting 94 percent complete on June 9. On June 16, oat emergence reached 96 percent, and 68 percent of oats were in good to excellent condition statewide.
Due to the late start and adverse weather, both development and harvest of the crop remained behind normal. Harvest began in mid July and ran about a week behind average, wrapping up with 96 percent harvested on September 8. There were widespread reports of oats being double‐cropped for supplemental forage.
HAY & PASTURES
Wisconsin’s hay stands were very slow to break dormancy this year due to below average temperatures. On May 19, winter freeze damage to alfalfa was rated at 19 percent severe, 23 percent moderate, and 24 percent light, with no damage to 34 percent of stands statewide.
All cuttings of hay this year lagged slightly behind the five year average, and nearly a month behind 2012’s record early haying season. The first cutting began on May 26, as feed shortages and the rapidly maturing crop reportedly forced farmers to cut around wet spots. Soggy conditions held up the first cutting and made drying hay nearly impossible in May and June. The second cutting grew quickly due to abundant moisture and was cut quickly as the ground firmed in July. However, dry, cool conditions slowed regrowth and lowered the quality and quantity of the third and fourth crops, putting pressure on already tight hay supplies.