2013 will not be remembered as the Year of the Early Corn in Illinois. “Corn planting remains stalled at 1 percent complete. That compares to 56 percent one year ago, when we had that wonderful early spring,” says Mark Schleusener, state statistician for the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. “It compares to 24 percent for the five-year average, so (it’s) well behind normal.”
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The only crop with significant progress now in Illinois is the oat crop, 27 percent planted now. As for the headline crops of corn and soybeans, Schleusener says it’s too early for farmers to panic. The ground is wet: 35 percent of the state reports topsoil moisture as being “adequate;” the other 65 percent reports it as “surplus.” The state got an average of more than three inches of rain last week, with some areas reporting as much as six inches.