Wet fields delay crop planting this spring

CaptureA good indicator when farmers can get in their fields is the soil temperature. Once the temperature of the first four inches of soil reached 50 degrees, seeds are warm enough to germinate.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), soil temperatures are 55-60 degrees for most of Northern Illinois with Southern Wisconsin exceeding that 50 degree mark.

So why are we so far behind in planting this year? Too much rain! Imagine that! After a significant drought last year, we are getting too much rainall this year! In fact, some spots in the Midwest saw their rainiest April on record! Capture2While our drought is officially over, it continues across the Plains States from South Dakota down into much of Texas.

On average, Illinois farmers are about half way through planting. However this year due to extreme rainfall, only 7% of the corn has been planted.


In Wisconsin, only 4% of the state’s corn has been planted with the average being 26%. Continued dry weather will ensure the number goes up, but rainfall is in the forecast for Illinois and Wisconsin Thursday. Some locations in Northern Illinois could receive in excess of an inch. Wisconsin will remain a bit drier.


Looking at statistics from the USDA for the nation: 12% of the corn is planted which is the slowest pace since 1984. It is very similar to  1993 when much of the Midwest was dealing with record flooding. -Eric






Posted under climate/climate change, drought, flooding, news

This post was written by qni_it on May 7, 2013

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