Illinois crop conditions fall due to lack of moisture

Corn and soybean condition ratings are beginning to drop in Illinois.

The USDA reports as of Sunday the corn crop is rated 50% good to excellent, down 19 percentage points on the week and soybeans are rated 51% down 12 points, as a majority of the state battles drier than average conditions.

Rob Schaffer of El Paso tells Brownfield most of his corn and soybean acres in McLean and Woodford counties haven’t seen more than half an inch of rain since they were planted.

“Overall, it’s pretty dry. Crops need a drink bad, and pretty much every farmer from I-80 to I-70 here in Illinois is in roughly the same boat I’m in.”

He says there also hasn’t been enough water to activate some of their herbicides, which could leave crops having to share any future rains with growing weeds.

“If we don’t have much water, we don’t want anything else absorbing the water. We want our corn plants and our bean plants to have access to whatever moisture we have and we don’t need weeds robbing that.”

The USDA says 72% of Illinois topsoil moisture is in short to very short supply with about 10% of corn and soybeans left to emerge.

Winter wheat condition held steady last week at 65% good to excellent with 98% headed. Some farmers could begin harvesting the crop as early as this week.  

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