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|Farmers Finally Put A Dent In Corn Planting
|More favorable weather in the area last week allowed many farmers to get into their fields to make significant corn planting progress.
Last week was the most productive stretch of days so far this planting season. The USDA says Illinois farmers had more than 4 days suitable for fieldwork.
The USDA's weekly crop progress report says producers began this week with 62 percent of the corn crop in the ground, an increase of 42 percent over the previous week. However, the total still trails last year's average of 85 percent of the corn planted and the 5-year average of 96 percent.
Farmers in the state's western crop reporting district, which includes Knox and Warren counties, are slightly ahead of average in their planting efforts with 63 percent of the crop in the ground. Nearly a quarter of the region's corn has emerged.
USDA Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says Illinois' dismal start to the planting season hasn't affected crop prices.
"Many other states in the corn belt are having really good planting progress. The state of Iowa has done fine in planting their crops - they produce more corn than Illinois does. The issues Illinois is running into with a slow planting season are not widespread across the corn belt."
The USDA rates topsoil moisture in Illinois 45 percent adequate and 55 percent surplus, an improvement from the previous week's 85 percent surplus rating. The average temperature last week in western Illinois was about 68 degrees, a full degree higher than the state's average temperature. Precipitation totals in the area averaged just 12-hundredths of an inch, which was more than three-quarters of an inch below normal for this time of year.
The drier weather also helped the state's soybean crop, which is now 12 percent planted, or a gain of 11 percent compared to the previous week.
|05 28 09 by Newsroom
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