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Recent rains have improved conditions for Illinois crops

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(The Center Square) – Despite some areas of Illinois in need of rain, corn and soybean crops appear to be thriving.

As of last week, parts of eastern and central Illinois have been dry, and areas in southern Illinois were in a moderate drought. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 32% of subsoil moisture was short as of last week.

The remnants of Hurricane Beryl are expected to give the state a good soaking this week. Some areas were expected to receive over four inches of rain from the tropical system.

Mark Schleusener, Illinois State Statistician with the USDA, said the progress of the corn crop in the state is ahead of schedule.

“Thirty-nine percent of corn acres are silking compared to 21% one year ago and 16% for the five-year average,” said Schleusener.

As of July 7, 23% of farmers reported their corn crop to be in fair condition, 52% in good condition, and 15% in excellent condition. That is similar to the week before, and considerably better than last year.

Twenty-four percent of soybean farmers reported their crop to be in fair condition, 55% in good condition, and 11% in excellent condition.

The state’s soybean crop is also ahead of schedule. Soybeans setting pods reached 9%, compared to the 5-year average of 3%.

The USDA estimates that farmers planted nearly 11 million acres of corn in Illinois this season, down about 300,000 acres from last year, and 10.7 million acres of soybeans, an increase of 350,000 from 2023.

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