The U.S.D.A. says weather conditions around Illinois last week were nearly perfect for planting. Crop statistician Mark Schleusener says farmers were in the fields for 4½ days last week. “There was some rain in most places but not enough to really curtail fieldwork,” he says. “Overall, the state averaged .67 inches of rain. That’s about a third of an inch below normal.”
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Schleusener says farmers are almost done planting corn with reports indicating 95 percent completion. That compares to 89 percent the previous week and 65 percent for the five-year average. He says drier conditions have allowed farmers to make progress on soybeans as well, with 44 percent of the crop planted as of last week – compared to 21 percent the previous week and 21 percent for the five-year average.