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Wisconsin farmers weeks ahead of spring planting schedule

Kaitlyn Riley

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Equipment has quickly moved through many fields, making spring of 2020 a ray of sunshine compared to the planting season of 2019.

Ryan Temperly works closely with producers as the agronomy manager at Ross Soil Service in Mineral Point. He said his territory was nearly two weeks ahead of schedule when it came to planting and spraying crops.

“I’ve been here for 10 years, and I really can’t think of a spring where we’ve been this far ahead this early in the season,” Temperly said.

Reddy Ag Service, Inc. and Ross Soil Service, LLC. Partner Owners
(L to R) Paul Simon, Greg Budack, Rose Kelley, Ryan Temperly, Dan Hentrich
(Photo Credit: Ross Soil Service)

He, like many in the agriculture industry, remember the struggles of 2019 with wet weather that put planting behind schedule. According to the USDA NASS Wisconsin Crop Progress Report through May 10, corn planting was 59 percent complete, 24 days ahead of last year and a week ahead of the average. Soybean planting was 35 percent complete, 24 days ahead of last year and 9 days ahead of the average.

“If we get adequate heat through the growing season, we should be looking at a fairly early harvest,” Termperly said.

Despite the late cold snap and frost, Temperly was optimistic that not many crops saw damage.

“You’ll probably be able to notice a little bit of frost injury on some of the alfalfa and grasses, but most of the corn and soybeans weren’t even emerged yet,” Temperly said.

When asked about what farmers were putting in the fields, Temperly said most farmers have stuck to their plans. Some experts predicted with the COVID-19 situation, producers would shift to crops with lower input costs, but Ross Soil Service did not notice any big acre shifts.

COVID-19 has changed some of their operations. Staff at Ross Soil Service have been taking extra precautions in the office and in the fields.

“But we still have to get our work done, and we still have to communicate with our growers,” Temperly said. “We don’t want to take any chances. We want everybody to stay healthy. Staying upright is so crucial for farmers right now as they are trying to go as quickly as possible to get crops into the fields.”

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in both radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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