Last week proved to be another busy week in the fields for producers across Illinois.
Corn jumped to 73 percent planted compared to 4 percent a year ago and 28 percent for the five-year average. This surpasses the previous high percent planted for April 25 of 67 in 2005. Soybeans are 5 percent planted compared to the five-year average of 1 percent.
A weak weather system will drop into the area Monday night and bring scattered showers to areas south and west of I-74 / 72.
Tuesday, the sky will become mostly sunny across most of the area, with a few lingering showers in southeast Illinois early in the day. The sky will then be mostly clear Tuesday night.
Rain and snow will diminish over the Intermountain West and Pacific Coast States as a large storm drifts shifts eastward. The storm is expected to stall over the central High Plains, producing heavy snow in the central Rockies, while rain and thunderstorms break- out over the Plains and Corn Belt.
Across the Corn Belt, mostly dry, mild weather favors planting and early crop emergence. Dryness, however, is becoming an increasing concern over the Upper Midwest and eastern Ohio Valley, where soil moisture is limited for crop establishment.
Beginning around 10:25 pm Wednesday evening, April 14, numerous reports were received of a bright object falling from the sky somewhere in Central Illinois. However, as close as the object appeared, the object was much further away than it appeared.
Summer-like temperatures prevailed across central Illinois for much of the first half of April. Temperatures averaged 10-15 degrees above normal through April 15th with many days seeing highs in the 80s and lows in the 50s. These readings were more typical of mid-June!
Across the Corn Belt, recent dry and unusually warm weather continues to favor fieldwork, including early-season corn planting.
Last week saw a great deal of equipment preparation along with soil tillage and some planting across the state of Illinois, with an acceleration of work last weekend.
Many producers are busy applying fertilizer and spraying wheat. Other activities included hauling grain to market, repairing and installing drainage tile and taking care of livestock.