Fewer days in the field for local farmers as winter sets in

By Gary Scott on November 29, 2016 at 12:28pm

As temperatures continue to drop, West Central Illinois farmers see fewer days suitable for field work.

The average temperature in the West Southwest District last week was just below 40 degrees at 39.7, still a full degree higher than the statewide average.

Last week, the local district saw less than a half-inch of precipitation, four-tenths below normal.

State crop statistician Mark Schleusener looks at the condition of Illinois’ winter wheat and sorghum crop.

“Ninety-six percent of winter wheat acres have emerged, compared to 99 percent one year ago and 96 percent for the five-year average. The condition of next year’s winter wheat crop is nearly unchanged, at five percent very poor-to-poor, 25 percent fair and 70 percent good-to-excellent. The sorghum crop is now 95 percent harvested compared to 100 percent one year ago and 99 percent normally. Pasture conditions in Illinois are rated as nine percent very poor-to-poor, 24 percent fair and 67 percent good-to-excellent,” says Schleusener.

Local topsoil moisture was 16 percent short, 67 percent adequate and 17 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture in the West Southwest District was 17 percent short, 75 percent adequate and eight percent surplus.