The good news continues for Illinois farmers, in the midst of what could end up being one of the most prosperous beginning to the growing season in recent memory. As of May 6th, 89% of the corn crop in the State of Illinois was in the ground, up from 79% last week, and dramatically ahead of last year's pace, when just 27% of the crop had been planted to date. Over the past 5 years, an average of 47% of the crop had been planted by this point statewide! Over the 18 biggest corn-producing states, 71% of the crop is in the ground, compared to last year's measly 32%!
The news is just as promising, if not even more favorable for the State's wheat crop! To date, 87% of the winter wheat crop has met or exceeded heading stage, up dramatically from just 21% by the same point last year and the 23% 5-year average! Perhaps even more important than the quantity of the crop is the quality of the crop! According to the USDA, 82% of the crop is in either Good or Excellent condition, while just 4% of the Illinois wheat crop can be characterized as being in Poor or Very Poor shape.
Over the top 18 winter wheat producing states in the country, just 12% of the crop is Poor or Very Poor this year, compared to an alarming 42% at this point last year. Furthermore, 63% of this year's crop over the same 18 states is in Good or Excellent condition, well up from just 33% last year!