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Dryness causes concerns

(CIFN file photo)

ODELL – The fields look pretty good around Jake Ralph’s farm near Odell, in northern Livingston County.

Ralph believes the early planted corn looks the best so far, but it is still early in the growing season.

“We need a little more rain to get a few more beans up, but everything is looking pretty darn good,” Ralph said.

Certain planting dates really impacted the condition of the corn crop this spring. There was an ideal planting window for about two days around April 20 where the corn wasn’t impacted as much by weather conditions. A significant amount of corn was replanted around the state.

“There is a lot of spraying going on in the corn,” Ralph explained. “There are even some beans being sprayed at this point.”

Other than the wind, growers like Ralph have experienced decent spraying conditions as of late. Ralph will start to get concerned if we miss the forecasted rains in Central Illinois this week.

“It could get interesting as far as being able to get a decent kill on some of these weeds.”

June has started out hot and dry with above-normal temperatures so far during the month. Statewide average precipitation is about 15 percent of normal. State Climatologist Jim Angel reports the top few inches of soil has dried out but there is still plenty of moisture below the surface.

“Only far southern Illinois has seen any significant rain this month,” Angel said in his weekly weather summary issued late last week.

The heat is expected to stick around at least until later this week when we see some chances for shower and thunderstorm activity, according to the National Weather Service.

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