The Wisconsin State Farmer described 2018’s crop season in one word — challenging.
Any year where April brings a record-breaking snowstorm (April 12-15) seems doomed from the get go. The storm was the second largest snowstorm ever recorded at the NWS station in Green Bay, more than doubling the previous records for largest April snowstorm and the snowiest April with an average of almost 18 inches more snow than normal.
The deep snow and cold soils significantly delayed the start of the 2018 planting season.
Planting was further delayed in May as frequent rains kept the fields wet.
Then summer arrived and with it severe thunderstorms cut through the state in the middle of the month, causing localised flood damage to some, and much-needed rain to others.
As summer started to wane, Mother Nature’s pressure on farmers did not as a series of severe storms from mid-August through September damaged crops in multiple areas of the state bringing heavy rain, flooding, flash flooding, hail, wind and tornadoes.
As temperatures dipped below normal in mid-November, the ground froze and many farmers were finally able to access unharvested fields, but it prevented tillage.
As of Nov. 25, fall tillage reached 68 percent complete, according to the USDA, four days behind average.
For the full and in-depth article from wisfarmer.com, click here.
The Grand Solar Minimum brings with it unpredictable weather patterns and major disruptions to our growing seasons, as the jet stream shifts increasing blocking persistence and our magnetosphere wains allowing in more GCRs.
“Challenging” is something of an understatement.