High temperatures and barely any rain make a bad combination for Illinois crops – again. The USDA weekly crop progress report for Illinois says the statewide average temperature was 86.4 degrees, 10.9 degrees above normal. Precipitation was .22 of an inch, almost two-thirds of an inch below normal.
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While the crops are progressing well ahead of average – 77 percent of corn in the silked stage and 42 percent of soybeans blooming – the quality is not good. 81 percent of the corn and 80 percent of the soybeans are rated fair or worse. The drought, obviously, affects more than just Illinois. “It’s certainly going to affect the livestock industry with increased prices for the commodities for them,” says Brad Schwab, director of the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service Illinois field office. Regardless of when it rains next, and how much rain comes, Schwab says it’s too late to help Illinois corn: “The late-planted stuff is really in dire straits, because it’s not even getting to the point where it’s going to be able to tassel; there’s no moisture for it to work with,” he said.