The Illinois harvest is almost done, but there are other things farmers are also concerned about.
The weekly crop progress report from the USDA shows 93 percent of both corn and soybeans are harvested -- both well above average. And Illinois State Statistician Mark Schleuneser says that means many farmers are on to another crop, and therein lies the problem with the recent lack of rain.
"Right now, 14 percent of topsoil moisture is rated very short, 45 short, 38 adequate, and 3 percent is surplus," says Schleusener. "A lot of the state could use a good rain, in particular areas where they have planted wheat."
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Schleusener says 83 percent of the state's winter wheat crop has been planted, and much of it is starting to emerge. The weekly crop report is starting to show soil temperature averages statewide. State crop statistician Mark Schleusener says that's because farmers are moving on to planning for the next corn and bean crops.
"It's a good time to apply fertilizer," says Schleusener. "One of the methods of applying fertilizer is anhydrous ammonia, but the soil is not cold enough. That needs to be done when the soil temperatures are 50 degrees or colder. So, it tends to be a late-fall, winter process."