STERLING – A long-awaited period of warm, dry weather has allowed area farmers to complete 77 percent of their corn planting, according to the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
Corn planting statewide, only 17 percent complete last week, jumped to 74 percent this week. Many farmers have finished their corn planting and moved on to soybeans, which are 19 percent complete, the department said in its weekly crop report.
Randy Faber, who farms corn and soybeans south of Sublette, finished planting all of his corn on May 15, and has moved on to planting seed corn and soybeans. Faber, 59, has planted more than half of his beans.
“I think we got enough dry weather,” he said. “Here in the Dixon area, we’re ahead of the game.”
When the planting season started In April, the weather was a little cooler than normal, he said. But the crops that have been planted are looking good, he said.
The stems look healthy, he said. They came out of the ground evenly and they have a nice, green color, he said.
“We’re off to a good start,” he said.
Thirty-two percent of soybeans have been planted in the northwest district, which comprises 12 counties, including Lee, Whiteside, Ogle, Bureau and Carroll.
Last year at this time, 98 percent of corn and 75 percent of soybeans had been planted statewide.
Temperatures averaged 66.2 degrees in the northwest district May 13-19, the release said. The area had 0.4 inches of rain in that period.
The area had 6.4 days suitable for planting in that time. On May 19, 81 percent of topsoil in the region had adequate moisture; 18 percent had a surplus of moisture. Eighty-five percent of the area’s subsoil was adequately moist, and 10 percent of it had a surplus of moisture.
Oats in the state are 95 percent planted; winter wheat, 49 percent planted; alfalfa and red clover, 10 percent planted; and sorghum, 7 percent planted.