For those travelling rural roads, please be careful when driving and keep an eye out for farm machinery as farmers continue to work to get their crops in the ground following a rainy spring.
Due to continued wet weather throughout the spring and into June, Illinois farmers have struggled to get their crops planted on time. According to the most recent data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS), only 73 percent of the Illinois corn crop has been planted. By comparison, the state corn crop was considered 100 percent planted by the same date in each of the three previous years. Soybeans progress hasn’t fared well either, with the state crop only at 49 percent planted, compared to 96 percent at the same time last year.
According to Bill Graff, Executive Director of the Illinois Farm Service Agency (FSA), which is part of the USDA, for the majority of Illinois farmers, corn must been planted by June 5 and soybeans by June 20 to receive full federal crop insurance coverage. After those dates, coverage drops to lower levels.
Graff also noted that the county USDA emergency boards are currently working to send information and statistics to the Illinois USDA Farm Service Agency, so that the state USDA emergency board can meet and develop a recommendation for a potential disaster declaration.