SPRINGFIELD — Seventeen percent of corn statewide has been planted, the Illinois Department of Agriculture reported this week.
That's ahead of this time last year, when 5 percent was planted. The five-year average is 1 percent for this point in the growing season.
In the eastern region, which includes Champaign, Vermilion, Piatt, Ford and Iroquois counties, only about 10 percent of the corn crop has been planted.
Many farmers in this region say they need more rain. Topsoil moisture was rated short by 64 percent, adequate by 33 percent and very short by 3 percent.
Subsoil moisture was rated short by 49 percent, adequate by 47 percent and very short by 4 percent.
Warm winter unlikely to influence corn yields
URBANA — This past winter's unusually warm weather isn't likely to have a pronounced effect on this year's corn crop, said University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good.
Good studied data from 1960 to 2011 and found the correlation between average winter temperature and average corn yield is small for both Illinois and Iowa.
Winter precipitation does have a small impact on corn yields the following growing season, but precipitation during the growing season is more important, he said in a university news release.
The yield impact of moving from the minimum to the maximum winter precipitation observed from 1960 to 2012 is at most 5 bushels an acre, Good said.
Deadline for ag scholarships extended
CHAMPAIGN — The application deadline for college scholarships given by the Murray Wise Associates Foundation has been extended to April 15.
Several scholarship holders are graduating this spring, so the foundation has more scholarships available than current applicants, said Murray Wise, chairman and CEO of Champaign-based Murray Wise Associates.
The awards — given to students pursuing degrees in agriculture or agriculture-related subjects — are for a minimum of $1,000 a year and may be renewed yearly for up to four years, provided certain conditions are met.
Applicants are selected based on academic credentials, including class rank, grade point average and test scores. Leadership qualities are also considered.
For applications, visit the foundation's online page at murraywiseassociates.com/foundation.
Corn checkoff increase passes
SPRINGFIELD — Illinois corn farmers have approved an increase in the check-off rate they pay when marketing their grain.
The proposal to raise the rate by one-quarter cent a bushel passed by a vote of 1,137 to 317, according to an announcement made Wednesday by the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
The measure won approval in 71 of the state’s 102 counties.
As a result of approval, the current check-off rate of three-eighths of a cent per bushel will increase to five-eighths of a cent per bushel, effective Oct. 1.
Corn farmers have the right to receive a full refund if they choose.
The check-off fund is administered by the Illinois Corn Marketing Board. Proceeds go to market development, research, education and promotion programs aimed at enhancing the profitability of corn farmers.