Heavy rains continue to drench fields and pastures across Illinois, putting farmers further behind as they attempt to harvest wheat and hay. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Illinois farmers only had an average of 1.1 days rated as suitable for field work last week, though many fields were still too wet for work during the limited sunshine.
So far, farmers have only managed to bale 8% of their second cutting of alfalfa hay, well behind the five-year average of 18%, and the winter wheat harvest stands at only 38% complete, compared to the five-year average of 59%. In addition, 93% of the statewide soybean crop has been planted, behind its five-year average of 97%.
Crop conditions are beginning to slip as well, with 62% of corn rated as “good” or “excellent,” and only 52% of soybeans receiving the same rating. That compares to last week’s ratings of 70% and 60%, respectively.