Crop decline, music, golf, the winning in losing and other odds and ends
By Jim Schuh
Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how did your garden grow?
Well, it should have done reasonably well in 2017.
The U. S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reports that the year just ended saw the average six-month growing season temperature in these parts only slightly below normal, and precipitation nearly two-inches higher than normal. The agency says “normal” is a 30-year average from 1981 to 2010, and the growing season runs from April through September.
Central Wisconsin temperatures during the growing season averaged 66.2 degrees, compared with the normal of 65.7 degrees. Total rainfall was 1.85 inches above normal for the growing season in central Wisconsin. Normal is 22.63 inches.
Portage County’s major crop, potatoes, experienced a drop in quality from 2016, when 92 percent of the crop had good to excellent ratings. The number dropped to 78 percent last year. Corn, soybeans and oats all registered similar declines in quality.
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