The USDA says at the current rate Illinois farmers could be ready for harvest by August. The warm spring temperatures and the April 6 crop insurance deadline led many farmers to start planting early. About 79 percent of the corn has been planted and more than a third is starting to emerge. But that doesn’t mean farmers will be coasting through the summer.
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“They’re certainly not out of the woods yet as far as having good yields this year,” says Brad Schwab, Illinois field office director of the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. Schwab says he expects farmers to start planting soybeans near the end of the rainy season. Only 13 percent of soybeans have been planted but that’s well ahead of the 5-year average for this time of year.