Cover Crop Observations – Wisconsin

The use of cover crops has received increasing interest among Wisconsin growers for a variety of reasons.  Suggested benefits of cover crops include improved soil quality, reduced soil erosion, nutrient sequestration, pest and weed management, and restoration/maintenance of soil biota on “prevented planting” acres.  Thousands of acres in the state were not planted in 2013 because of wet soil conditions, especially in the North Central portion of the state.  Concerns associated with cover crop use in the state include the ability to establish the crop because of cold weather (measurable snow was recorded in the state on 20 October) and the ability to terminate the stand the following spring. Continue reading

Fall Crop Harvest Weather, Progress and Impacts

What was possibly going to be a late harvest season with the late planting and cooler mid-summer temperatures has moved ahead quicker than expected.  Late season warmth and dryness pushed crops progress along and also pushed many to premature maturity because of a lack of moisture accompanying the heat in the late summer.  Thus, crops that were expected to stay green well into the fall have not.  A warm and relatively dry September also aided that situation.  Continue reading