Crawford County's corn growers are getting caught up on planting, but a soggy forecast could slow them down again.
"Almost everybody is planting," Natural Resources Conservation Service District Conservationist Jason Conner said. "They're making some pretty good strides."
Conner estimated nearly half of the county's crop has been seeded in the past couple weeks, although there are still farmers spreading anhydrous ammonia and performing other tasks. Farmers should not be too far behind on planting if the county does not get too much rain in coming days.
Unfortunately, the National Weather Service is calling for a 60 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms today and a 70 percent chance for Tuesday. Showers are also possible Wednesday and Thursday.
The weekend proved not to be a damp as expected, however; only .52 inch of rain was reported here.
Once the rain is over, farmers who got a head start by planting before the last round of showers may find they have replanting to do. Some of that corn did not germinate well because of cool, damp conditions, Conner said.
Cool temperatures and wet conditions limited what producers accomplished last week, according to the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
More than 2 inches of rain hit the southeastern part of the state and caused minor flooding. The rest of the state experienced enough precipitation to limit progress.
Overall, there were 1.7 days suitable for fieldwork. Statewide temperatures averaged 53.9 degrees, 2.7 degrees below normal. Statewide precipitation averaged 1.46 inches, .50 inches above normal.
Topsoil moisture was rated at 9 percent short, 77 percent adequate and 14 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated at 4 percent very short, 23 percent short, 68 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus.
Still, corn planting increased to 43 percent complete, slightly ahead of the five-year average of 41 percent. Soybean planting reached 3 percent.
Conner has not seen any local soybean planting going on yet, but he has seen farmers using good tillage practices and making good use of cover crops. "I'm pleased with what I've seen," he said.
Crawford County's winter wheat crop is looking good and should be heading out in the next week or two, Conner said. Statewide, 2 percent of the wheat has headed, well behind the five-year average of 26 percent.
Wheat conditions were rated at 2 percent very poor, 7 percent poor, 31 percent fair, 44 percent good and 16 percent excellent.
The agriculture department expects 675,000 acres of wheat will be harvested for grain this year, down 19 percent from 2013. The wheat yield is forecast at 64 bushels per acre, down 3 bushels from 2013. Production is forecast at 43.2 million bushels, 22 percent below last year.
State pasture conditions were rated at 1 percent very poor, 6 percent poor, 37 percent fair, 43 percent good and 13 percent excellent.