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|No Corn, Soybeans Planted in the State...Yet
|It's been too wet for Illinois farmers to get much planting done.
The first crop report of the season from the USDA says no corn or soybeans were planted last week. Producers say it might take a few weeks of warm, dry conditions to begin planting in earnest. The report says temperatures across the state averaged just 45.8 degrees combined with nearly an inch of rain. It was cooler in Western Illinois, with an average temperature of 44.2 degrees, and not quite as rainy as the region received about one-third of an inch of precipitation.
The state's topsoil moisture content is rated at 64 percent surplus, preventing farmers from having one full day suitable for fieldwork. Brad Schwab, director of the Illinois field office of the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, says it's not unusual for the corn crop to be at or near zero during the first week of April. "Our five-year average is one-percent planted on this date," Schwab said. "Only back on this date in 2005, did we actually make any significant process in recent history, at five-percent planted."
Schwab says the only measurable progress this season is the oat crop at 14 percent complete. He says from a statewide perspective, though, Illinois doesn't hang its hat on oats. Winter wheat conditions for the week stood at 74 percent good to excellent and alfalfa is rated 65 percent good or excellent.
Schwab says, like last year, it could be another late start for farmers planting corn and soybeans. He says planting was running about two weeks behind going into May last year, and despite a lot of concern that the corn crop might be a failure, production fell just one bushel short of the record.
|04 10 09 by Newsroom
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