A lackluster farming season, compared to many previous years, is readying for its close-up.
The latest USDA crop report shows corn 17 percent in the dent stage and beans 70 percent setting pods. The rain in the week just past was mostly welcome, unlike the surplus which has marked much of 2015.
“We've been wet all year, but the last 2 ½ or three weeks the rain has mostly quit, and things have dried up pretty quickly,” says Mark Schleusener, USDA state statistician for the National Agricultural Statistics Service. “Our temperatures were right on average last week, a blessing, rather than the curse that it was earlier in the summer.”
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The agency's first yield forecast of 2015 is out Wednesday at noon. “Last year we had the highest corn and soybean yields ever in Illinois,” says Schleusener. “Most people right now are looking at the condition of the crop. Current conditions are not as good as a year ago.”
About half the corn and soybeans are in good-to-excellent condition now.