Illinois’ corn and soybean crops continue to outpace the historical averages. Corn is 77 percent in the dough stage and 17 percent dented, and soybeans are 94 percent blooming and 79 percent setting pods. These figures are all ahead of last year (Corn: 47 percent dough and 5 percent dented, soybeans: 89 percent blooming and 60 percent setting pods at this time in 2013) and, except for corn dented, ahead of the five-year average.
It has just been a good year, says USDA crop statistician Todd Ballard. “It just seems like we’ve had some just perfect weather this year. We’ve really had good moisture even though we’ve been a little bit cooler than normal. It seems like we got the rain at the right time and the temperatures at the right time and it’s just really been progressing,” he said.
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Last week was the driest week of the season in terms of the level of topsoil moisture, but then rain a half-inch above normal – 1.45 inches – came in and alleviated that. This leaves us with topsoil that’s 17 percent short of moisture, 2 percent very short, 76 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus. The driest conditions in the state are found in Northwestern Illinois.
Corn is rated 52 percent good, 30 percent excellent. Beans are rated 56 percent good, 22 percent excellent.