Wednesday, May 15, 2019


It's mid-May and still no sign of good soil conditions.  I did some hand-working of a small section and put a few potatoes in.  These are some purple spuds I traded for through the Kenosha Potato Project.  Supposedly the colored-flesh potatoes are healthier.  Can't wait to see how they taste!

It's about a 15-foot row to the East of the wheat testing area.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

May Survey

Here is what the Newman Rd field looked like this week.  The UW-Extension wheat report said that wheat in Southern Wisconsin is two weeks behind where it was last year.  Last year was also a late year, so I guess that's where climate conditions may be headed in my part of the world.  Cold, late, wet springs.  I feel bad that these conditions coincided with the first major planting of Wisconsin No 2 wheat in 80 years.  All that precious seed killed by these awful growing conditions!  But enough survived for the project to continue.

The latest climate summary from NOAA just announced that the last 12 months were the wettest on record in the US.

This is the Haynes Bluestem planting.  There is a slight washout from spring rains but otherwise it looks good.

Here is the Marquis planting.  Coming up on schedule.

The Vavilov (left) and Wisconsin No. 2.  There is no longer any denying it--the winter wheat planting was heavily damaged.  Based on the patterns and extensive washout, I believe that 90% of the damage was caused by the severe heavy rains in September, October, and November of last year.  It could be that some of it was winter-kill, but I really think most of it was rain-kill.  A combination of the saturated conditions, and the attendant cloudy cold conditions (which severely limited growth before winter set it), really doomed this planting.  I will at least be able to get back the precious seed that I planted, and I expect at least a few bushels to sell.  But not nearly what I was hoping for!

A healthy section of the Wisconsin No. 2.

Here is what April looked like in my back yard.  Rain, wet, and cold.  It's now the second week of May and we're still dealing with highs in the low 40's with rain and overcast conditions.