Corn planting is under way in Illinois.
The USDA reports in its weekly crop progress report that 1 percent of the anticipated corn crop is in the ground, the same as at this time last year. Crop statistician Mark Schleusener says for five of the last eight years, corn planted by the second week of April has been 0 or 1 percent, and the 34 percent planted in 2012 is an outlier that skews the average.
“I think where we’re at is much more close to the median percent planted than it is the five-year average,” Schleusener said. The five-year average is 10 percent.
The temperature around the state last week averaged 54.5, which was five degrees above normal, and that warmed the soil enough to allow some planting. Whether corn planting gets going across the state in earnest will depend on how cold and rainy it is this week.
Topsoil moisture across the state is 73 percent adequate, 17 percent surplus.