The first report on the progress of the state’s corn crop shows there has been none. There has been no corn planting activity as yet, because the fields are too wet, and because the soil is too cold, says USDA crop statistician Mark Schleusener. “Producers are looking at soil temperatures. You should not plant corn when it’s too cold; the seed will not germinate and it may just rot in the ground. You don’t want that, so it’s kind of been too cold to plant, the soil temperature is too cold to plant,” he said.
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In some years past, corn planting was well under way by this time, but Schleusener says the lack of corn planting this week doesn’t constitute a delay; he says there is plenty of time to get the crop in the ground once conditions allow. The state has plenty of moisture. Topsoil moisture is rated 71 percent adequate and 18 percent surplus. The dampest fields, including some with standing water, are Southern Illinois. Winter wheat is growing. Its condition is rated 40 percent fair, 42 percent good.