USDA: Cooler temperatures delay Illinois planting

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Federal officials say cooler temperatures sometimes dipping below freezing have prohibited Illinois agricultural producers from planting until they find warmer soil.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in its weekly crop report for Illinois that fieldwork continues and the spring calving season has begun. 

The USDA’s crop report indicates the statewide average temperature was 41 degree, six degrees below normal. Precipitation averaged just over half-an-inch, also less than normal. 

Topsoil moisture was rated at 74 percent adequate. Subsoil was 82 percent adequate. 

The amount of corn planted was at 2 percent, while the five-year average is 6 percent. Oats planted jumped to 32 percent, up 19 percentage points from last week. 

Pasture and range conditions were rated at 56 percent good, 17 percent excellent.