Corn and soybeans move toward average pace; winter wheat acre heading below average

By Benjamin Cox on May 1, 2018 at 12:01pm

Farming is in full swing across the state of Illinois as we head into the month of May, with 80 percent of last week deemed suitable for fieldwork. That’s over five and a half days.

The average temperature in Illinois measured 3 degrees below normal at 53.3 degrees. Precipitation across the state was scarce throughout the week, with all eight regions of Illinois below normal. The state average was just below a third of an inch, over a half inch below normal.

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener offers a look at the surge to get corn in the ground, the steady planting of soybeans, and the unfortunate slow pace of winter wheat heading.

“Corn planting surged ahead by 28 points and is now 32 percent complete, compared to 59 percent one year ago and 40 percent for the five year average. Soybean planting is reported as seven percent complete, compared to 12 percent last year and five percent normally. Five percent of winter wheat acres are heading, compared to 61 percent one year ago and 18 percent for the five year average.”

In the local West Southwest District, the average temperature was almost the warmest in the state at just over 55 and a half degrees, still 2.3 degrees below normal. The district definitely saw a lack of precipitation, with just over one tenth of a inch of rain the whole week, a full three-quarters of an inch below normal.

Despite the low levels of rain across Illinois, especially across the northernmost regions, soil moisture supply remained reasonable. Illinois producers declared topsoil moisture supply at three percent very short, eleven percent short, 74 percent adequate, and twelve percent surplus. Subsoil moisture declarations came in at two percent very short, ten percent short, 79 percent adequate, and nine percent surplus.