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Welcome rains moisten two-thirds of state to adequate levels

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The rains have been a blessing for Wisconsin farm fields.

Officials said almost two-thirds of the state had adequate soil moisture as of Sunday.

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Madison's rainfall was almost 4.5 inches above normal since the start of the year.

But even with all the downpours, the year's precipitation is still below normal in Eau Claire and La Crosse.

And much of northeast Wisconsin is still hurting for rain.

Officials said almost a quarter of the state's farm fields remain very short of moisture, while 18 percent have surpluses.

Farmers in Jefferson, Washington, Sauk, Oconto and Barron counties report some losses in their winter wheat crops.

Oconto and Sauk counties also had winter-kill in their alfalfa, and some other counties say it's too early to assess the winter damage.

About 58 percent of the Wisconsin oat crop is planted, Ten percent above normal for this time of year.

Corn planting is also underway, with 6 percent in the ground, most of it in southwest Wisconsin.

But soils are still too cold in much of the state to handle the corn yet.

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