It’s not harvest time yet, but Illinois corn and soybeans are showing signs of maturity. In this week’s USDA crop progress report, we find that 5 percent of Illinois corn is mature, the first sign of mature corn this year. The five-year average is 24 percent, but USDA crop statistician Mark Schleusener says you should not be alarmed. “That five-year average includes the 2012 drought, where everything mature rapidly, too rapidly because it was sort of dying out there in the field instead of making grain, so that’s one thing where currently, our five-year average can be a tad misleading,” he said.
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Corn is rated 82 percent in good of excellent condition. Soybeans are now 14 percent turning color, up from just 1 percent last week. Beans are rated 78 percent good or excellent. Thanks to another week of above-average rainfall – 1.08 inches was the average statewide, a quarter-inch above average – only 9 percent of Illinois fields are dry. There is adequate moisture in 82 percent of acres, and 9 percent have surplus.