Just one day suitable for fieldwork due to cold temps, late-spring precipitation

By Gary Scott on April 3, 2018 at 12:24pm

Planting season in west central Illinois is slowly approaching despite colder temperatures and early-April rain.

Statewide, there was just one day suitable for fieldwork last week. The average statewide temperature was around five degrees below normal at just less than 42 degrees. And while temperatures around Illinois were below normal, the statewide average precipitation was more than three-quarters of an inch above normal, coming in at around 1.7 inches.

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener provides a look at the condition of Illinois’ winter wheat crop.

“The condition of the winter wheat crop was reported as seven percent very poor, nine percent poor, 38 percent fair, 40 (percent) good and six percent excellent. That’s a decline of eleven points in the ‘good’ and ‘excellent’ categories compared to one week ago,” says Schleusener

The gap between actual temperatures and precipitation totals and normal totals was even more apparent in the local district. Last week’s average temperature in the West Southwest District was just over 42-and-a-half degrees, a solid five and a half degrees below normal. Average precipitation in the local district last week was slightly more than 1.9 inches…more than a full inch above normal.

Topsoil moisture throughout the state was three percent short, 60 percent adequate and 37 percent surplus. Statewide subsoil moisture came in at one percent very short, 13 percent short, 65 percent adequate and 21 percent surplus.