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TUSCOLA — As farmers prepare for another planting season, the recent showers are providing needed moisture to the soil.

About 5 percent of Illinois corn has been planted, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department, ahead of last year’s pace.

In Douglas County, Farm Bureau Manager Tyler Harvey said farmers have started preparing their fields for planting, and some have started planting, but it’s still a bit early.

“It’s nice when you’re able to get into the field this time of year,” he said. “At the same time, it’s still pretty early in the whole scheme of things.”

With the recent rain and cool evenings, Harvey said the soil is pretty moist most mornings, but tends to dry up by the afternoon.

“Depending on where you’re at, there may be some people in the field. But for the most part, I think the rain soaked into the soil,” Harvey said.

“They’re not starting as early in the day as they’re used to.”

Harvey said the soil is in good shape in Douglas County but that the rains were needed for much of the state.

“In some places, it’s a little dry,” he said. “Overall, the soil conditions are good. It’s still a little cool, but other than maybe being a bit abnormally dry, things are pretty good.”

As more farmers get out in the fields, Harvey reminded drivers to be careful, especially on rural roads.

“Most farm equipment doesn’t go over 25 mph. You’ll be on it much quicker than you realize,” he said. “Be mindful of your surroundings, especially in rural areas.”

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