DROUGHT MONITOR: Parts of central Illinois still abnormally dry
PEORIA (25 News Now) - There’s no doubt it’s been hot, but it’s also been dry in some areas across the heart of Illinois. The latest Illinois State Drought Monitor update as of August 4th shows a large portion of McLean, Logan, and LaSalle counties, and nearly half of Tazewell county are abnormally dry.
When the heat is coupled with dry weather, that can affect crop progression and future yields. Mark Schleusener, the IL State Statistician from USDA NASS, said “For corn plants, you know you have a nice big ear of corn that’s 8-9 inches long. But the kernels of corn may only grow to 5 or 6 inches long and the last 2 or 3 inches of the corn cob may not have any viable corn seed. So that happens in a very dry climate, very hot climate, and some parts of Illinois have had that this year.”
According to the latest Crop Progression Monitor, 31% of Illinois’ corn acres have reached the dough stage as of Sunday July 31st. That’s 11% behind the five year average of 42%. This is because of the late start to the growing season from a wet spring, not from the heat and dry weather we’ve seen. As of now, there is no widespread concern for harvest season.
Schleusener also added, “I would like to thank all the farmers who have responded to the August Ag Yield Survey. Your individual reports are confidential by law, but they help tell the story of Illinois agriculture.”
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