We’re a week into April, and corn planting has scarcely begun. There is some anecdotal evidence of corn being planted in Illinois, but there’s not yet enough acreage for it to show up in the weekly USDA crop progress report. “The only real field work going on right now (is) primarily anhydrous ammonia applications, also dry fertilizer and herbicides; there was some planting of oats,” says USDA crop statistician Mark Schleusener.
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At this time last year, 18 percent of the state’s corn was already planted. Topsoil moisture now is 93 percent adequate or surplus, but subsoil moisture is 29 percent short or very short, meaning there isn’t much if we have another dry growing season.