Eastern region's crops lead Illinois in maturity

Eastern region's crops lead Illinois in maturity

CHAMPAIGN — Nature has favored farmers in the eastern region of Illinois this month.

Data from the National Agricultural Statistics Service show that corn and soybean crops are further along in that region — which includes Champaign-Urbana, Danville and Kankakee — than in any of the state's other eight regions.

According to the service, 100 percent of corn has been planted in the eastern region and 98 percent of the corn has emerged — the highest percentages in the state. Similarly, 88 percent of the soybeans in the region have been planted and 72 percent have emerged — again, the highest figures in Illinois.

Farmers in the eastern region are also sitting pretty when it comes to soil moisture.

Ninety-seven percent of the topsoil has adequate moisture, leaving only 3 percent with too much moisture. A full 100 percent of subsoils is deemed to have adequate moisture.

By contrast, some areas in the southern part of the state have as much as 60 percent of the topsoil with too much moisture.

Statewide, 11 percent of the corn crop was rated excellent, 47 percent good, 29 percent fair, 10 percent poor and 3 percent very poor as of this week.

Size of national corn crop remains in question

URBANA — There's a lot of uncertainty about the size of the U.S. corn crop this year, University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good said. Many questions won't be resolved until the U.S. Department of Agriculture releases an acreage report June 28.

In a UI release, Good said there's uncertainty about how many acres have been planted and what the yield will be, given that much of the crop was planted late. He noted only 46 percent of the crop was planted as of May 15 this year, compared with a long-term average for that date of 72 percent.

The variation in expectations stems from the difficulty of assessing the effects of late planting, flooding and replanting in some areas and timely planting and favorable conditions in other areas.

Good noted that corn consumption is expected to surge this year.The amount needed for feed and residual use is projected to be the largest since 2007-08, reflecting lower feed prices, he added.


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