As conditions remained favorable for bumper bean and corn crops last week in Illinois, growers in southern and western portions of the state are starting to clamor for a bit more rain.
"Our beans are starting to look a little stressed right now, so we’ve got to start getting some rain soon," said Carol Goins, whose family farms about 160 acres in southern Massac County. "The corn still looks great, but it’ll need moisture as well."
State Climatologist Jim Angel said the month’s average temperatures made this the coolest July on record in the state. The milder temperatures, combined with slightly above-average rainfall during the period, created ideal growing and pollination conditions.
But even though no part of the state is considered in drought conditions, rainfall without damaging high-wind conditions would be ideal right now, Goins said. For the week ending Aug. 3, according to the latest USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) crops report for Illinois, average rainfall was 0.28 inch, well below the average of 0.51 inch for the week.
Temperatures also remained below average for the week, at 69.3 degrees, nearly 5 degrees below average for the same period.
Corn conditions remain strong, through, with 81 percent of the crop statewide rated as good or excellent, well above the five-year average at this time. In the dough stage, corn was rated at 55 percent, ahead of the average of 47 percent.
Beans also were rated highly, with 77 percent of the crop rated as good or excellent. Bloomed beans reached 91 percent, above the five-year average of 84 percent. Even pasture conditions were rated highly during the period, with 65 percent statewide rated as good to excellent.
By Steve Binder