Well I finally got some rain at my place after 6 weeks. I had just under an inch from Saturday night into Sunday morning. It’s not a surprise that August 2013 was the 40th driest month out of the last 119 years in Wisconsin. We were, however, near normal for temperature. See charts below. (Charts & photos received from our regional agronomist Michael J Weiss, Ph.D. of Monsanto.)
Shawn Conley at the University of Wisconsin developed the following map to help show the median dates of the first frost in Wisconsin. As you can see, 50% of the time over the last 29 years or 15 years out of 29, we had 32 degrees by these date windows. So in my home county of Juneau, half the time we would have gotten a frost of 32 degrees by the 21st to 30th of September. To see the progress of crops across the country, download this PDF: https://alliedcooperative.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/crop-progress-map-09-15-2013.pdf.
Dr. Weiss took this picture in Central part of the state, at a field day, classic anthracnose stalk rot symptoms on the stalk. We need to continue to watch our fields and prioritize that harvest schedule not based on grain moisture as much as stalk condition this year. To read more about corn stalk rot identification and scouting, download this PDF from Monsanto: https://alliedcooperative.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/agronomic-spotlight-corn-stalk-rot-identification-and-scouting.pdf.
Have a safe and productive harvest!
– Rob Shields, Agronomist