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|Same Soggy Story for Illinois Corn Planting
|The pace of corn planting in Illinois hasn't been as slow as it is right now in nearly a half-century.
The USDA's weekly crop progress report for last week shows farmers had a paltry 20 percent of their corn in the ground as of last Sunday, a 10 percent gain over the previous week. Despite doubling the total, the amount is a whopping 53 percentage points behind last year's pace at this time, which was considered slower than usual. All but eight percent of the state's corn crop is typically planted by now.
Brad Schwab, Illinois field office director of the USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service, says the problem for farmers continues to be an abundance of rain.
"I think, looking at topsoil statistics, that this might be the wettest spring this late that we've seen possibly back to 1993. I was looking back then and that was a really wet year too."
Western and central Illinois were overwhelmed by rain last week, causing severe flooding. The USDA says the western part of the state averaged 4.19 inches of rain, second only behind the 4.24 inches recorded in mid-Illinois. The total for western Illinois was 3.2 inches above normal. Rain across the state averaged just under three inches, about two inches more than the norm. The average temperature in our region was 57.6 degrees, or 5.1 degrees cooler than usual for this time of year.
The USDA says corn planting hasn't been as slow as it is now since 1960. The region's crop is slightly ahead of the state average at 23 percent planted and 7 percent is emerged.
Topsoil moisture is rated 85 percent surplus in western Illinois and farmers had just 2.5 days suitable for fieldwork.
|05 20 09 by Newsroom
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