Winter wheat begins final stretch, soybean and corn planting almost complete, field conditions slightly decline

By Benjamin Cox on June 5, 2018 at 1:44pm

The state of Illinois received a substantial amount of rain last week, but the local district was not so lucky, being both one of the driest, as well as the warmest for the second straight week. The USDA reports that 70 percent of last week was suitable for fieldwork, at 5 days.

The statewide temperature average came in at 76.3 degrees, over eight-and-a-half degrees above normal. Illinois averaged 1.2 inches of rain, three-tenths of an inch higher than normal.

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener offers an update on this year’s soybean crop. Soybean planting reached 94 percent complete as of Sunday, compared to 82 percent one week ago and 77 percent for the five-year average. 85 percent of soybean acres have emerged, compared to 57 percent normally. The condition of Illinois soybeans declined slightly from the previous week, and is now 4 percent very poor to poor, 18 percent fair, and 78 percent good to excellent.”

Schleusener provides an update regarding cornfields, and says the time is near for winter wheat harvest, as the first signs of ripening are appearing.

91 percent of corn acres have emerged, compared to 90 percent normally. The condition of the corn crop declined slightly from last week, and is now 3 percent very poor to poor, 16 percent fair, and 81 percent good to excellent. Illinois wheat crop is now 98 percent heading, compared to 95 percent for the five-year average. The condition of the crop is nearly unchanged from last week, and is now 13 percent very poor to poor, 25 percent fair, and 62 percent good to excellent. Some observers say the wheat crop in their area is beginning to turn.”

Schleusener also addresses sorghum acres, alfalfa and other hay, and pasture conditions.

“The first cutting of alfalfa hay is now 73 percent complete. Other hay harvest is 64 percent finished, and sorghum acres jumped to 82 percent planted. Pasture conditions were rated 8 percent very poor to poor, 28 percent fair, and 64 percent good to excellent, slightly worse than one week ago.”

The West Southwest District was the warmest region in the state for the second consecutive week, this time at 77.8 degrees, 4 tenths of a degree higher than the next highest region. The local district was also the second driest, receiving only 57 one hundredths of an inch of rain when we typically see 85 one hundredths of an inch during the twenty-second week of the year. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 3 percent very short, 19 percent short, 71 percent adequate, and 7 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture conditions were rated at 2 percent very short, 18 percent short, 76 percent adequate, and 4 percent surplus.