Ag News -
Regional Ag News
Friday, 04 May 2012 18:10
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) — A warmer-than-usual spring has put both the corn and soybean crops ahead of schedule in Illinois.
The (Bloomington) Pantagraph (http://bit.ly/JCJxdp ) reported Wednesday that 80 percent of corn already has been planted.
That compares to corn nationwide, which is only 53 percent planted, said Rob Shaffer, an El Paso corn and soybean farmer who also serves on the board of the Illinois Soybean Association.
Dennis Wentworth, who farms corn and soybeans in the central Illinois community of Downs, said he has finished his planting. Wentworth is now spending time checking his plants for damage.
"The challenge now is to see if it's going to be a healthy plant," he said.
Rodney Weinzierl, executive director for the Illinois Corn Growers Association, said only about 30 percent of soybeans has been planted in Illinois. But even that is ahead of schedule, said Shaffer, who added that farmers traditionally begin planting beans between April 25 and May 10.
"A lot of soybeans need to go into the ground," Weinzierl said. "If we can get a week of warm weather, farmers will come out."
Weinzierl said warmer daytime temperatures, cooler evenings and a bit more rain from now until summer would create ideal conditions for greater yields. But he added that "everything is subject to Mother Nature."