Farmers begin their planting, but this year’s delays for corn and soybean growers are noticeable

By Gary Scott on April 25, 2018 at 2:06pm

Limits on planting and fieldwork have continued into the second half of April, with less than half of the days last week being deemed suitable for fieldwork, 2.7 to be exact. The statewide average temperature for the week was just under 44 degrees, a nearly eleven degrees below normal. Very patchy spots of rain were experienced across Illinois, with the precipitation average was just 13 one hundredths of an inch, a full 8 tenths of an inch below normal.

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener discusses the struggles seen across the state for corn, as well as the status of the winter wheat crop, and the first sights of soybeans.

“Corn planting is now four percent complete, compared to 30 percent one year ago and 20 percent for the five year average. There were scattered reports of soybean planting, but not enough to be one percent, compared to 20 percent one year ago and six percent for the five year average. The condition of the winter wheat crop was reported as one percent very poor, six percent poor, 37 percent fair, 49 percent fair and seven percent excellent, slightly better than one week ago.”

In the local West Southwest District, temperature averages were similar but slightly better than the statewide average at just under 46 degrees, a full ten degrees below normal. The West Southwest district was very dry last week, receiving only two one hundredths of an inch of rain, a full 9 tenths of an inch below normal.

Statewide topsoil moisture supply for this last week was rated 3 percent short, 80 percent adequate, and 17 percent surplus. The subsoil moisture supply was rated as 1 percent very short, 6 percent short, 82 percent adequate, and 11 percent surplus.