Illinois’ corn and soybean crops are in good condition. In this week’s USDA crop progress report, corn is rated 52 percent good and 30 percent excellent, and beans are rated 55 percent good and 23 percent excellent. “I think the story is timely rains through July, which is typically seen as helping the corn crop, and I was somewhat worried about the soybeans, and honestly in August there’s been a number of good rain systems covering large portions of the state, and those August rains tend to be very, very helpful for soybean pods,” says USDA crop statistician Mark Schleusener.
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Soybeans are now 94 percent setting pods, ahead of last year (82 percent) and the five-year average (88 percent). Corn is now 48 percent in the dent stage, well ahead of last year (27 percent) but behind the five-year average (53 percent). The average temperature last week was 77.4 degrees F, 3.9 degrees above normal – the first warm week in a while – but rainfall was above normal too, at an average of 1.41 inches, which is ¾ of an inch above normal. Topsoil moisture is 76 percent adequate, 9 percent surplus, 13 percent short and 2 percent very short. In Southeastern Illinois, 32 percent of farmland has surplus moisture.