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Weather puts farmers behind schedule


UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News) Wisconsin farmers say they desperately need the warm temperatures that are inching into the southern part of the state this week. The U-S-D-A says farmers continue to be way behind in their plantings of corn, soybeans and oats -- and the cold and wet spring is to blame.

As of Sunday, 36-percent of the Wisconsin corn crop was in the ground -- 16-percent more than a week ago, but still well behind the five-year average of 61-percent. Observers say it continues to be cold below the surface, which means that the crops are emerging more slowly than normal.

Parts of the southwest Wisconsin hit the upper-80's yesterday -- a sure-fire solution if it can last. It's supposed to cool down to the 70's for the Memorial Day Weekend in the south. In the north, some places only got into the 50's yesterday. Many of those places don't expect to see 70 for a while -- perhaps into next week when it's supposed to get warmer, and possibly wetter.

Only eight-percent of the state's soybean crop has been planted, down from the norm of 26-percent. 55-percent of the oat crop is in the ground, 30-percent behind the average. Crop reporters say the alfalfa and winter wheat generally look good throughout Wisconsin -- but they, too, need more heat in order to grow.