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|Cool, Wet Weather Creating Problems in Soybean Fields
|Farmers in some parts of Illinois are already concerned about the slow pace of corn and soybean maturity, but now there's another issue.
Crops planted late because of a wet spring need as much heat and sun as they can get, but this summer's trend of unseasonably cool temperatures and above average rainfall isn't allowing corn and soybeans to advance much on a week to week basis.
The USDA's most recent crop report shows corn 78 percent in the dough stage and 26 percent dented. Those figures are substantially behind the numbers from last year at the same time and the five-year average. Soybeans are also behind schedule with 91 percent setting pods and only 1 percent turning yellow.
The average temperature in the state last week was 67.2 degrees, or 6.3 degrees cooler than normal, and rain totals were a little over a half-inch wetter than usual.
USDA crop statistician Brad Schwab says the weather pattern is enabling a white mold to become more prevalent in soybean fields throughout the state.
"The cool, damp conditions, and, I don't know if you pay attention when you get up, but the heavy dew that exists on your plants, that's not helping either, and that's continuing the spread of it," Schwab said.
Topsoil moisture in Illinois is rated 91 percent adequate or surplus. That includes the 100 percent rating in western Illinois. The southeast and east southeast regions are the driest with both reporting more a quarter of their fields short or very short on moisture.
The sorghum crop has advanced to 80 percent headed and 70 percent of the alfalfa has had a third cutting. Those numbers also trail last year's pace and the five-year average.
|09 03 09 by Newsroom
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