State News: Wisconsin Corn Harvest Still Running Late

As winter weather moves into the state, not all Wisconsin farmers have finished harvesting this year’s corn crop.

The latest crop-progress report from the state’s U.S. Department of Agriculture office shows that only 57 percent of corn for grain has been harvested, which puts the harvest 22 days behind last year and 18 days behind the five-year average.

Jerry Clark, agriculture educator for the University of Wisconsin-Extension in Chippewa County, estimates that about 20 percent of his county’s corn crop is still in the fields.

“The corn crop is usually harvested and in storage by Thanksgiving here in western Wisconsin,” Clark said. “The moisture content is the real kicker this year because it’s still high as far as being in the upper 30 percent moisture.”

Clark said the grain-moisture percentage is usually in the low 20s or teens by this time of year, but late planting this spring and challenging weather throughout the season delayed crop maturity.

Late Season Caused Low Opening-Weekend Deer Kill?

Wisconsin wildlife officials are blaming the lateness of the season for a dramatically reduced harvest during the opening weekend of the state’s traditional nine-day gun season.

Preliminary data from the state’s Department of Natural Resources show that hunters killed 90,286 deer on Saturday and Sunday, which is down nearly 27 percent from 123,090 deer killed during the 2018 opening weekend.

As of midnight Sunday, the department had sold 555,227 licenses that allow someone to kill a deer with a gun during the nine-day season. The DNR did not have data immediately available for 2018 sales through midnight Sunday of the opening weekend.

DNR big-game ecologist Kevin Wallenfang noted that the 2018 season began on Nov. 17: the earliest possible date the season can ever begin. This year the season began as late as possible – on Nov. 23 – when the rut was ending and deer movement was limited.

Following Great Recession, Wisconsin Job Market Rising

A decade after the Great Recession, a new report by the Wisconsin Policy Forum says that the state’s job market has recovered.

The shift in the state’s job market is largely due to an increase in higher-paying jobs that require more education, but this shift isn’t happening throughout the state. The report suggests that if the state wants the job market to continue to climb, the rise must be sustained and distributed across more regions.

“There seems to be a need to continue to increase the share of the adult population that has at least a bachelor’s degree to fill those fast-growing occupations,” said Joe Peterangelo, a Wisconsin Policy Forum senior researcher.

The report focused on Wisconsin’s three major metropolitan areas –  Madison, Milwaukee and Green Bay – and used U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data from May 2008 to May 2018 to analyze the state’s 22 major occupational groups. According to the report, the business, health care, management and computer operations fields added the most jobs between 2008 and 2018.

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