Tag Archives: crop

Corn planting almost complete, soybeans steady, winter wheat back on track

This last week has been fairly dry in Illinois, giving producers the opportunity to continue the surge away from winter-like conditions one month ago into average and above average fielding numbers. 80% of last week was deemed suitable for fieldwork.

Statewide, the crop numbers are pretty astounding. Not one corn field was rated poor or very poor across the whole state, while winter wheat heading is closer to par at 48 percent, now only three points behind the five-year average. The average temperature in Illinois was 66.7 degrees, about 5 and a half degrees above normal. The state received an average of forty-five one-hundredths of an inch of rain, less than the average 1 inch usually seen in the second week of May.

State Crop Statistician Mark Russell details the numbers for corn and soybean sightings.

"Corn planting moved ahead 16 points and is now 90 percent complete, compared to 74 percent one year ago and 70 percent for the five year average. 63 percent of corn acres have emerged, compared to 44 percent last year and 41 percent normally. Soybean planting is 66 percent complete, compared to 22 percent last year and 24 percent normally. 24 percent of soybean acres have emerged, 18 points above the five-year average."

In the local West Southwest District, the average temperature for the week reached 71 degrees, almost 9 degrees above normal. Precipitation totals for the local district mirrored the state numbers, with just over 4 tenths of an inch, despite an average slightly over an 1 inch this time each year.

Topsoil and subsoil moisture supply stats were nearly identical last week. Topsoil moisture supply was rated as 1 percent very poor, 14 percent poor, 76 percent adequate, and 9 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supply was declared to be 1 percent very poor, 14 percent poor, 76 percent adequate, and 9 percent surplus.

As a final note from the USDA, 2017 agriculture census submissions are still being accepted for those that have not completed their surveys. Go to agcensus.usda.gov for more information or to complete your 2017 census. The ag-census is collected once every 5 years. The deadline to complete an 2017 agriculture census is July 31st.

Recent weather trends are raising questions ahead of the 2018 planting season

Weather conditions for West Central Illinois in recent months have prompted many to question what the crop will yield this farming season. WLDS/WEAI news caught up with Duane Friend, an environmental educator with University of Illinois Extension Office in Morgan County to discuss some of the impacts the recent weather trends are having on fields.

Friend talks about effects on farms that come with a colder spring.

In general we’ve been lucky in the fact that we’ve had a relatively cold spring, so it’s not like if we had an early spring and then we had this cold weather. Then we would probably be in a lot worse shape. The big thing is right now is of course it’s holding farmers back from getting in the fields and getting the crop planted. A lot of times here in the last few years we’ve had people already out in the fields and corn already in the ground at this point. If things would warm up, I think things could catch up pretty quickly. If this cold weather continues on for the next two weeks though, that’s gonna start putting people a little farther back than they would like to be, especially for planting corn.”

Friend acknowledges the lower than average precipitation totals from the end of 2017, although he is confident that the 2018 farming season will yield a proper result. However, the possibility of extended variance from normal weather conditions will ultimately determine the value of this year’s crop yields.

We really had a very dry fall, a very dry winter, and there were a lot of concerns about drought conditions steadily creeping in to Western Illinois. With the rain and the precipitation that we’ve had in the last few weeks, that’s backed off a little bit. I think we’re gonna be fine in terms of getting a crop in. The big question will be, ‘What does the rest of spring bring? Do we end up turning suddenly dry and the precipitation goes away?’ That will be one concern. I know that the three-month forecast, I think, is still calling for warmer than average temperatures. So, you know, that’ll all play out here in the next few months. But if we have normal precipitation from here on, at least in terms of soil moisture we should be okay.”

Going forward, Friend says normal precipitation totals would be ideal for both the soil and local bodies of water.

Now a lot of the ponds, a lot of the lakes are still below normal. Those could still use some extra precipitation. Hopefully we’ll get some of that here in the next month or so. We certainly don’t need any excess precipitation, but if we could get normal precipitation hopefully things will start getting back to normal in terms of lake and pond levels, and certainly soil moisture will be adequate.”

Stay tuned to WLDS for all your weather and farming projections and updates.