Some Illinois farm fields are drying out. Statewide, 35 percent of fields are now considered short of topsoil moisture, and 4 percent are very short. Western Illinois is the driest region, with 68 percent of field short and 2 percent very short, according to the weekly USDA crop progress report.
It is a concern, says USDA crop statistician Todd Ballard. “Some areas are a lot better than others and got more moisture, but we are starting to see a little bit of a decline in some of those areas. Most producers are wanting to see some rain pretty quickly,” he said.
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Fifty percent of corn is in the dough stage, compared to 89 percent last year and 64 percent for the five-year average; 6 percent in the dent stage, compared to 59 percent last year and 26 percent for the five-year average for this date. Soybeans are 63 percent setting pods, whereas that figure was 87 percent last year and is 67 percent for the five-year average.
Conditions: Corn 68 percent good or excellent; beans 70 percent good or excellent.