Crops in some parts of the state are getting needed rain, while others are starting to dry up. More than an inch of rain fell on Northern Illinois last week, according to the weekly USDA crop progress and weather report. Given the lack of rain this season, it was needed, says crop statistician Brad Schwab.
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“They were waiting for a rain to come through, so that was a timely rain,” Schwab says. “From what I’ve heard no one had any flash flooding, so that was good too that it didn’t create any standing water.” However, Schwab says Southern Illinois needs rain soon to avoid crop damage. In the southernmost region, about half of fields have soil moisture that is considered very short. “The two southern crop reporting districts are now reporting 55 percent very short topsoil moisture," he said.
Despite the lack of rain, Southern Illinois’ corn is the tallest in the state. Corn height averages 28 inches in the northern part of southern Illinois, 27 inches in the southwest and 25 in the southeast. Corn and soybean growth is still ahead of the five-year average. Schwab says corn growth is on pace for a harvest by August.