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|Illinois, Local Corn Planting Takes Off
|It was just a matter of time before the state's farmers would be out in the fields planting crops in big numbers, and that time arrived.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says last week's unseasonably warm and dry conditions were perfect. Farmers planted one-third of the corn crop over a seven day period between April 11th and the 18th to bring the average in Illinois to 34 percent. The biggest gain was made in the southwest crop reporting district, where 67 percent of that region's corn is in the ground. The west district trails the rest of the state with corn 23 percent planted.
USDA crop statistician Brad Schwab says the planting numbers are well ahead of the five-year average thanks to outstanding weather. He says that's a welcome change compared to last year at this time -- which was cold and wet.
"The week ended with temperatures averaging 7.8 degrees above normal, and virtually no rainfall statewide," Schwab said. "There were 6.4 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture supplies continued to dry down, and were reported 1% very short, 13% short, and 79% adequate, and 7% surplus."
The local numbers include an average temperature of 61.7 degrees, or nearly 9 degrees above normal, and only 8-hundredths of an inch of rain. Farmers had 6.6 days suitable for fieldwork and the USDA rates the region's topsoil moisture as 85 percent adequate.
The amount of corn planted statewide is 22 percent ahead of the five-year average. Even though corn planting in western Illinois lags behind the rest of the state, the region's total is still nearly double the five-year average.
Some farmers have also started planting soybeans. One percent of that crop is in the ground compared the five-year average of 0.
|04 22 10 by Newsroom
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