Illinois wheat is benefitting from the increased rain, as planting for next year approaches 50 percent (photo by Chris Short/flikr)
By Jim Anderson
SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois corn crop harvest slowed last week due to rain across the state.
The harvest advanced from 80 to 87 percent, as farmers switched to soybeans or were kept out of the fields by rain. But USDA crop statistician Mark Schleusener says farmers won’t complain about the rain.
"To me, every cloud has a silver lining, and a good amount of next year's wheat acres have been able to plant recently," said Schleusner. "This rain will help that wheat germinate and get up to a good stand. For those growers with wheat, I think they looked at that rain and were very happy with it."
Schleusener says the corn crop isn't fully complete, but the return of steady rain is helping. The percentage of topsoil with moisture rated short or very short is down to 35 percent.
46 percent of next year's wheat is planted. The corn harvest progress compares to 60 percent at this time last and 53 percent for the five-year average. Soybeans advanced from 47 to 69 percent harvested. The harvest was 66 percent at this time last year, and the five-year average is 60 percent.
Zach Dietmeier contributed to this story. Zach can be reached at Zach.Dietmeier@Cumulus.com.