Corn Planting Begins in Illinois as Weather Remains a Challenge

Illinois farmers have officially begun corn planting, according to USDA’s crop progress report released Monday afternoon. The weekly report tracked the state’s corn planting at 4 percent complete, the first measurable progress of the season.

Last year at this time, Illinois corn planting was 30 percent complete.

Temperatures remain well below normal, however, and FarmWeek CropWatcher Randy Anderson said most farmers in his area focused on getting caught up on other fieldwork chores.

“There was some fieldwork that picked up. A few guys started dragging some ammonia wagons around Thursday,” said Anderson, who farms in Saline County. “In Gallatin County, they have some sandy soils and they were able to do a little spotty planting. Not what you could say full-tilt, but kind of testing the equipment and testing the ground.”

Last week’s average statewide temperature was nearly 11 degrees below average. Soil temperatures also remain on the low side.

Anderson received 1.3 inches of rain over the weekend, slowing his progress even more.

“We’ve stayed wet continually,” he told the RFD Radio Network®. “It seems like we get a rain every three or four days. About the time it gets dry enough to go again, it rains.”

His pastures are also behind schedule.

“We were finally able to get in Tuesday of last week to get my pasture fertilizer on and on some of my hay ground without tracking it up,” Anderson said. “It’s been so cool so long, the pastures have not come out as good as we’d like so we can get the cattle on the pasture and off these muddy lots.”

USDA also reported that 4 percent of the winter wheat crop has headed. The percentage of the wheat crop rated poor or very poor dropped from 12 percent to 7 percent.

Source: Jeff Brown, FarmWeekNow

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