Wednesday's 72° high temperature observed in Rockford is the 4th recorded in April thus far and the 16th of 2012 to date, just an amazing tally! With such unprecedented warmth so early in the season, it's no surprise that farmers Statewide are enjoying nearly unprecedented early planting of corn and wheat this year! So far, an unheard of 41% of the state's corn crop is already in the ground, compared to just 8% by this time last year, and outlasting the five year average of 6%!
The story with Illinois' wheat may be even more stunning! Similar to the corn crop, 40% of the state's wheat crop has been planted. What's more amazing, though, is that last year ZERO PERCENT of the crop was in the ground, and the five year average for the state is identical... ZERO!!!
However, the early start to the season does NOT insure a productive yield come season's end! Evenly spaced rainfall over the coming weeks and months will be needed to sustain the growth of these crops, along with near-normal temperatures. The 2012 growing season's story is just in its beginning chapters, though it's indeed off to a promising start!