After a few weeks mostly filled with sunshine, Illinois crops are nearing their five-year progress averages.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 89 percent of soybean plants are now blooming, and 70 percent are setting pods, which are just behind the five-year averages of 93 percent and 71 percent respectively. Sixty-seven percent of corn acres have made it to the dough stage, and 17percent have reached the dent stage, closing in on the typical averages of 69 percent and 24 percent.
Crop quality is nearly identical to the previous week with 56 percent of corn and 50 percent of soybeans rated as good to excellent.
Statewide, rainfall averaged just .85 inches last week, which made for two weeks in a row with rainfall rated as .13 inch below normal. The field time is helping farmers wrap up the second cutting of hay which is now 92 percent complete, an eight-point gain from the previous seven days. For those farmers already into their third cutting, progress was made there as well, with 38 percent of acres complete, up from 23 percent last week.