Only 5 percent of state corn planted

Only 5 percent of state corn planted

A roundup of agricultural news:

SPRINGFIELD — Cool weather this spring has delayed corn planting in Illinois, according to the state office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Only 5 percent of the state's corn crop had been planted as of Sunday, compared with a five-year average of 22 percent for that date.

However, averages can be deceiving. In 2010 and 2012, the percentages planted by April 20 were 45 and 54, respectively. But in six of the last eight years, less than 10 percent of the crop had been planted by that date.

In the Eastern region of the state — which includes Champaign-Urbana, Danville and Kankakee — temperatures last week averaged 6 degrees below the norm and precipitation last week was less than half the norm.

China boosting worldwide soybean demand

URBANA — Strong world demand for soybeans is encouraging U.S. farmers to plant more acres of them this year, University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good said.

Good said soybean consumption is large in spite of continued high prices and record production in the rest of the world the last two years.

World consumption of soybeans this marketing year is projected at 9.884 billion bushels — 40 percent more than 10 years ago.

"Much of the growth in world consumption has occurred in China, up 130 percent in 10 years," Good said, and "there is no sign of a reversal in consumption."

Good said record-high livestock prices and a likely increase in biodiesel production should also keep domestic soybean consumption large.

He added that unless conditions change dramatically, it appears that U.S. farmers' planting intentions are "fully adequate to meet consumption needs at more modest price levels" than in the past three years.

EDGE conference set June 9 at UI

URBANA — Young people interested in a career in beef cattle can register for the Illinois Junior Beef Association's EDGE Conference to be held June 9 at the University of Illinois.

The conference will give people 8 to 21 years old a chance to learn more about the beef industry and sharpen skills for a career in that field.

During the daylong conference, participants will learn about evaluating beef carcasses and will be taught beef safety skills.

They'll also tour the Beef Research Center on campus and learn from graduate students about opportunities for helping with research. Sessions will focus on agricultural education, agricultural careers, public speaking, photography and social media use.

The registration deadline is May 15. The registration form is available online at under "youth activities."

Tour of local wheat farms set May 28

URBANA — Illinois wheat growers will have an opportunity in May to tour winter-wheat fields and make observations that will factor into yield estimates for the winter-wheat crop.

The Illinois Wheat Association is hosting the tour May 28. Participants will meet at four locations, the nearest of which is Siemer Milling Co., 111 W. Main St., Teutopolis. The other points are in Mount Olive, Mascoutah and Carmi.

Field checks will be made during the day, with an evening report at the Brownstown Agronomy Research Center east of Vandalia. Before the evening meal, yield estimates will be calculated. On hand to discuss wheat development and diseases will be UI professors Fred Kolb and Emerson Nafziger and Robert Bellm, a UI Extension educator in commercial agriculture and crops.

Reservations for the dinner must be made by May 23.

For reservations, contact the association's office at 309-557-3619.

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