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|Hot Weather Helps State's Crops Play Catch Up
|The corn and soybean crops in Illinois benefited from last week's unseasonably warm, and for the most part, relatively dry weather conditions.
The statewide temperature of about 81 degrees was 6.7 degrees above average and rainfall as a whole was about a third of an inch below average, allowing farmers five days suitable for fieldwork. Those conditions helped the corn crop grow to an average height of 29 inches, a gain of one-foot in a week's time and just four inches behind last year's average height for the latter part of June.
USDA crop statistician Brad Schwab says the number of growing degree day units since May 1st reached 1,048 by the end of last week, which is now ahead of the historic average by 36 units compared to a deficit of 13 units two weeks ago.
"The growing degree day units that we ended the week with, was a testament, if you will, to the fact that the weather was just finally cooperating and trying to give the corn a chance to catch up some."
Soybeans also made good progress. The crop is 76 percent emerged, a gain of nine percentage points over the past week, although that still trails last year's pace of 88 percent and the five-year average of 96 percent.
Corn and soybean development in western Illinois is slightly behind the statewide averages. Corn height in the region averages 28 inches and soybeans are 74 percent emerged. The western district received the most rain - a little over an inch - and was the only part of the state that actually received above-average precipitation.
|07 01 09 by Newsroom
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